Sunday, 08 December, 2019


Baby boy is first marijuana overdose death, doctors claim

Baby boy is first marijuana overdose death, doctors claim Baby boy is first marijuana overdose death, doctors claim
Patty Aguilar | 17 November, 2017, 20:26

A case report about the seizure and death of an 11-month old after exposure to cannabis has prompted headlines about "the first marijuana overdose death" this week. The report was issued in the journal "Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine" by doctors Thomas Nappe and Christopher Hoyte, who were part of the child's medical team at Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center.

After the boy's death, the doctors tried to figure out what went wrong. He was intubated to help his breathing after his nervous system started to shut down.

Doctors say the child died of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle.

"The only thing that we found was marijuana", Hoyte told KUSA. Studies have shown that the child had a myocarditis, and after his death, a high concentration of the major psychoactive component of marijuana has been found in his blood and urine.

Of all the previously reported cases of cannabis- induced myocarditis, patients were previously healthy and no evidence was found for other etiologies.

Jonathan Caulkins, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College, said that it doesn't strike him as impossible that the death described in the report could be linked to marijuana.

Myocarditis is more often fatal in children, and is usually caused by injections, fungi, or parasites, KUSA reported.

Based on the onset of the child's symptoms, it was concluded that he consumed a single, large dose of marijuana and did not get sick from gradual exposure, much like what he would've gotten from people smoking pot around him.

The incident marks "the first reported pediatric death associated with cannabis exposure", according to the report's authors, but other doctors aren't convinced.

"The only thing that we found was marijuana". And just one thing led to another and the kid ended up with a heart stopped.

"I'm going to have to call "BS" on this one", Noah Kaufman, an emergency medicine specialist told the Journal.

The doctors said the child's heart stopped, and despite attempts to resuscitate the heart, the baby's life could not be saved.

"We extensively ruled out nearly every other cause that we can think of", the doctor added.

However, the report noted: "Additional history disclosed an unstable motel-living situation and parental admission of drug possession, including cannabis".

Critics also say there is no definitive link between marijuana and heart inflammation, with prior cases involving other drugs in addition to marijuana.

"In the age of legalized marijuana, children are at increased risk of exposure, mainly through ingestion of food products, or 'edibles, '" they wrote. "'We've got one!' And I still disagree with that".

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