Recent cases of fake marijuana containing rat poison are occurring in the Midwest.

by PRC Agency PR

St. Louis, Missouri (April 2018)—The Missouri Poison Center would like to make emergency department personnel and the general public aware of the recent health concern linked to synthetic cannabinoids. This contaminated fake marijuana can cause severe coagulopathy and bleeding in some users. Over one hundred cases have occurred in Illinois but the problem has also spread to Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. Two deaths are associated with these exposures so far. The source of the synthetic cannabinoids appears to be the Chicagoland area when cases began appearing around the middle of March.

The link between the product and the bleeding is that the synthetic cannabinoids have been mixed with a long-acting anticoagulant. This chemical, called brodifacoum, is normally found in rodenticides. The synthetic cannabinoids have various names including K2, spice, legal weed, and fake weed. There are also local “brand” names such as “King Kong” and “Releaf”. If the substance has anticoagulants in it, users might experience atraumatic bleeding or unusual bruising.

If a patient presents to the emergency department with bleeding, the Missouri Poison Center recommends the physician screen for coagulopathy with an INR (International Normalized Ratio). Those patients should also be questioned about their synthetic cannabinoid use because the products cannot be detected on routine urine toxicology screens. Suspected cases need to be reported so health officials can better track this problem. Cases without an alternative diagnosis are of greatest importance.

The Missouri Poison Center is always ready to offer information on unexplained severe coagulopathy cases. Trained and experienced healthcare professionals are available to Missouri residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year via the Poison Help hotline: 1-800-222-1222. These experts are available to recommend treatment advice if you think you or someone else has been poisoned, but they also provide assistance in the form of general inquiries about poison safety. They have educational materials for adults and children, as well as extensive information on poison prevention.

7980 Clayton Rd # 200

St. Louis, MO 63117


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Created on Apr 23rd 2018 14:59. Viewed 203 times.


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