A Case of a Suicide Attempt by Taxus baccata Leaves Poisoning


Journal of Clinical Toxicology publishes papers in all areas of toxicological sciences, including the structure, function, and mechanism of agents toxic to humans and/or animals, as well as toxicological medicine, safety evaluation, and environmental health.

Journal of Clinical Toxicology offers academic, industry, and regulatory toxicologists, as well as toxicology consultants, timely, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary articles and incisive reviews on contemporary issues in toxicology, plus safety assessments, novel approaches to toxicological testing, mechanisms of toxicity, biomarkers, and risk assessment. Each issue of IJT provides an important forum for articles that promote basic toxicology research, as well as those that facilitate and improve toxicology practice.

Journal of Clinical Toxicology has recently published an article entitled “A Case of a Suicide Attempt by Taxus baccata Leaves Poisoning” in its upcoming issue which is volume 10 Issue 4 whose abstract is as follows:

Taxus baccata is one of the most poisonous trees in the world. It contains taxanes and toxic alkaloids: the most dangerous one is the taxine. It is a fairly common plant in our environment and could be extremely dangerous; however, yew poisoning is quite rare. Cases may occur by voluntary or accidental ingestion. Therefore, the rapid orientation and diagnosis of suspected episode are important, in order to treat it quickly. There are no specific clinical or analytical alterations in this intoxication and it is very difficult to determine in each case the evolution of the episode. Patients who ingest a lethal dose frequently die due to cardiac arrest, in spite of resuscitation efforts. At present, no specific therapy exists. Therapeutic procedures reported in the literature are only referred to in published case reports, so there is insufficient evidence to recommend any treatment in yew poisoning. In our case report, we describe poisoning by ingestion of Taxus baccata leaves in a suicide attempt, its clinical evolution and its management and we do a brief review of the literature about yew poisoning.

Case report as follows: 48-year-old man was transferred by ambulance to the emergency department of the hospital, with no symptoms, 2 hours after autolytic attempt by abundant yew leaves ingestion. He was aware of the arrival of the ambulance and he said that he was cutting yew leaves and ingesting them, although he could not specify the exact amount. The physical examination was normal and the analysis only presented respiratory alkalosis, mild leukocytosis (13.75 × 103/µL (3.8-10)) and increased lactate (4.66 mmol/L) While in emergency room stay he suffered from abrupt reduced consciousness and ventricular fibrillation that had required electrical cardioversion, 200 joules twice. Subsequently, he presented aberrated rhythm with wide QRS and ventricular tachycardia. Amiodarone (IV 300 mg) was administered and orotracheal intubation and mechanic ventilation were performed. Therefore, he entered the intensive care unit. The results of a second analysis were leukocytosis (20.96 × 103/µL (3.8-10)) and increased lactate 2.89 mmol/L (troponin T (19.3 ng/L (0-14)) and creatine kinase (237 U/L (0-189)). Rest of the analysis were normal (Table 1).

More information about article at: https://www.longdom.org/open-access/a-case-of-a-suicide-attempt-by-taxus-baccata-leaves-poisoning.pdf

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