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Journal Article

Citation

Harchelroad F, Scalise JA, Dean BS, Krenzelok EP. Vet. Hum. Toxico. 1988; 30(2): 161-163.

Affiliation

Division of Emergency Medicine, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1988, American College of Veterinary Toxicologists)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

3381488

Abstract

One of the many bonds shared by poison center and emergency medicine staffs is the fear of plant misidentification. Although serious plant ingestions are uncommon, with all plant exposures totaling 8.3% of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' (AAPCC) 1985 data, it remains advisable to evaluate the ability of emergency medicine health care personnel to identify common houseplants and their toxic principles. Comparison of popular (based on sales) common houseplant lists obtained from two local nurseries and AAPCC 1985 reported plant exposure data enabled formulation of a 12-plant test vehicle. Specimens were photographed and the color slides viewed by the participants in a 40-minute presentation. Fifty-six health care professionals from 2 teaching institutions were tested. None of the participants (0%) were correct on all 12 specimens presented. Only 17% of the plants were identified correctly by common name. A mere 13% were correctly identified as being toxic or nontoxic. Although fewer females were tested (N = 14), they did better proportionately than males in visual identifications (28% vs 12% of all data points correct). Overall study results indicate a significant need for further staff education in medical botany and phytotoxins.


Language: en

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