In Sri Lanka, almost 2000 people suffer from oleander poisoning every year. What is most shocking is that a majority of these deaths are deliberate self poisoning. The oleander plant is commonly used in Sri Lanka as a way to commit suicide. The oleander plant is a perennial bush that originates from the Mediterranean. The plant is used as decoration all over the world. Although oleander is vivid and beautiful, it can be deadly.
Poisonous Oleander Chemicals
There are three chemicals in the oleander plant that makes it dangerous: oleanderin, neriin and oleondroside. People and animals can be poisoned by eating oleander leaves or petals. Consuming honey that has been made by bees that have got their nectar from the oleander plant can also cause poisoning.
Symptoms of Oleander Poisoning
Symptoms of oleander poisoning include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, vision disturbances, blurred vision and low blood pressure. The nervous system is also affected, which can cause dizziness, disorientation, headaches and lethargy. In some cases the poison shows up on the skin in the form of hives and rashes. The most common symptom of oleander poisoning affects the heart. A disturbance in the heart rhythm, heart palpitations and and increased heart rate all have the potentials to cause cardiac arrest.
Children and Oleander Poisoning
In an effort to secure the health and welfare of their child new parents often use a lot of childproof devices to keep their child safe. However, parents often fail to remove toxic plants from their child's reach. Surprisingly, people don't realise how toxic common everyday plants can be.
Pets and Oleander Poisoning
According to MSNBC, people should not assume that their pets wont eat a particular plant. Pet owners should investigate things that are in their pets mouths and be aware of the scientific names of the plants that are located inside and outside of their homes.
There are a lot of plants that are poisonous to dogs and cats. Some of the recognisable symptoms that a poisoned cat or dog will experience are dilated pupils, excitability or lethargy, seizures, drooling and vomiting. A person who believes that her animal has been poisoned should contact a vet as soon as possible. If an animal is not treated immediately for oleander poisoning, it can suffer from heart, liver and kidney failure.
The most common treatment used to reduce the deaths associated with oleander poisoning is charcoal. when the poison enters the system it begins to spread in the intestinal lining. Charcoal causes the poison to bind in the gut of a person and then forces the oleander to be eliminated from the body. Someone who suspects he has oleander poisoning should consult his doctor for immediate treatment.
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