MI health officials issue warning over deadly rat poison in synthetic marijuana

07 April, 2018, 00:30 | Author: Andrea Terry
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued new health warnings with cases of users experiencing bleeding from virtually every body opening due to a Vitamin K dependent coagulopathy

"We are urging anyone who has a reaction to synthetic marijuana, such as severe bleeding, to call 911 or have someone take them to the emergency department immediately".

Doctors have attributed the cases to a type rat poison found in the synthetic pot. But when laced with this type of poison, it can be deadly.

Although a cause of death has not yet been determined, an autopsy detected the presence of brodifacoum, a deadly anticoagulant used in rat poison, which has recently been found in several cases of synthetic marijuana use in IL. It can cause severe, even fatal, bleeding. There have been 60 hospitalizations and two deaths related to the synthetic marijuana containing the odorless poison.

Symptoms include bruising, nosebleeds, bleeding of the gums, bleeding out of proportion to the level of injury, vomiting blood, blood in urine or stool, or excessively heavy menstrual bleeding and back pain. As of Thursday night, there were 89 cases across the state of IL that includes the confirmed deaths in Cook County and central IL.


"Public health agencies are reporting that patients who admitted to smoking synthetic cannabinoids are presenting to hospitals with severe bleeding and testing positive for brodifacoum", Dr. Ponni Arunkumar, Cook County's Chief Medical Examiner, said in a statement.

The contaminated synthetic marijuana that IL public health officials have been warning about has claimed at least two lives - a 22-year-old suburban Chicago man and another state resident.

Synthetic marijuana, also known as fake weed, is sold for recreational use under the names K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Genie and Zohai, among others. Cannabinoids are sometimes sprayed on plant material for smoking, or are sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices, the health department's warning has warned.

According to the Department of Health Services, these products are found across the U.S.in convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores and online. If they do, they should seek immediate medical treatment.

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