Pediatric Nandina domestica ingestions reported to poison centers

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Abstract

Nandina domestica is grown as an ornamental plant in the United States but has also been reported as an invasive plant in a number of states. Parts of the plant, particularly the berries, contain cyanogenic glycosides that convert to hydrogen cyanide when ingested. This investigation characterized N. domestica ingestions involving patients of age 5 years and less reported to Texas poison centers during 2000–2015. There were 875 total N. domestica ingestions. A seasonal pattern was observed with the highest proportion of ingestions occurring in March (18.5%) and April (14.7%). The patients were male in 55.0% of the cases; 40.8% of the patients were of age 1 and 37.0% of age 2. Berries were specifically mentioned in 709 ingestions, of which 57.3% involved one berry and 28.5% an unknown number of berries. The ingestion occurred at the patient’s own residence in 92.9% of the cases, and the patient was managed on site in 97.0%. The most frequently reported clinical effects were vomiting (3.7%), abdominal pain (1.0%), diarrhea (0.9%), and nausea (0.7%). In conclusion, N. domestica ingestions among young children generally do not result in serious outcomes and can be managed successfully outside of a healthcare facility.

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