A Report on Mushrooms Poisonings in 2018 at the Apulian Regional Poison Center
Mushrooms poisonings in 2018
Keywords:Poisoning, Intoxication, Epidemiology, Poison center, Mushroom poisoning
BACKGROUND: The “Ospedali Riuniti’s Poison Center” (Foggia, Italy) provides a 24 h telephone consultation in clinical toxicology to the general public and health-care professionals, including drug information and assessment of the effects of commercial and industrial chemical substances, toxins but also plants and mushrooms. It participates in diagnosis and treatment of the exposure to toxins and toxicants, also throughout its ambulatory activity.
METHODS: To report data on the epidemiology of mushroom poisoning in people contacting our Poison Center we made computerized queries and descriptive analyses of the medical records database of the mushroom poisoning in the poison center of Foggia from January 2018 to December 2018.
RESULTS: A total of 69 mushroom poisonings cases were recorded in our poison center the period from January 2018 to December 2018. Our poison center serves all the Italian territory but most of the calls about mushrooms poisonings, in 2018, came from Apulia, Campania, and Basilicata, which are bordering regions of Italy. About 80.2 % of calls were made by the physicians (particularly, 73.9% by emergency room, 18.8% and 4.3% by hospital ward, and 1.4% both by a general practitioner and by the American Sign Language [“ASL”]) and 18.8% by the public. Cooked mushrooms were involved in all the cases (single and multiple species). The most frequent calls were made in the period between September 2018 and December 2018; in the other months, there were only sporadic cases. All were intentional exposures in adults (>18 years).
CONCLUSIONS: Mushroom exposures and poisonings are an important problem in those regions of Italy where many people adventuring in mushroom’s research without any license. This fact has contributed substantially to morbidity due to mushroom poisoning. Our database is a valuable national resource for the collection and monitoring of Italian mushroom poisoning cases in 2018 but limited to the people who called our poison center, which is one of the nine poisons centers in Italy. And since in most cases, the mushroom’s species remains unknown, it is important to quickly recognize symptoms and most frequent species involved on the Italian territory, in particular in South Italy.
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