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Philodendron

Definition

This is poisoning caused by eating pieces of the philodendron plant.

Poisonous Ingredient

Oxalic acid and asparagine, a protein found in the philodendron plant. The leaves and stems of the plant are the most dangerous.

Symptoms

  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling of mouth
  • Swelling of tongue
  • Burning in mouth and throat
  • Burning and painful eyes

Home Treatment

Wipe out the mouth with a cold, wet cloth. Give milk to drink.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the U.S. use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

See National Poison Control center.

What to expect at the emergency room

The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.

The patient may receive:

  • Medicines to treat symptoms

Expectations (prognosis)

This type of plant may cause severe swelling that blocks the airway, causing breathing difficulties, but this is very rare.

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