Monday, October 1, 2012

Socrates

A patient is brought into the emergency department with tonic-clonic seizures. A friend says, "We found some wild vegetables...we thought it was parsley or turnip or carrots or something." She brings in the plant shown above. "He ate a little," she says, "and before he started seizing, he had nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Then he started acting a little confused. When I touched him, he was drenched in sweat." Vital signs show bradycardia and hypotension. Despite initial antiepileptic therapy, he remains in status epilepticus; these seizures are fairly intractable.

Challenge: What is this poisonous plant which acts by GABA antagonism?

Image is in the public domain.

2 comments:

webhillizzy said...

Cowbane?

Craig Chen said...

that's right...hemlock or water hemlock
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Socrates

This is water hemlock which contains cicutoxin.

Sources: UpToDate; Wikipedia.