A case report about the seizure and death of an 11-month old after exposure to cannabis has prompted headlines about “the first marijuana overdose death” this week.
Except that’s not what the doctors meant.
“We are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child,” said Thomas Nappe, an author of the report who is now the director of medical toxicology at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, Pa.
Nappe, who co-authored the report with Christopher Hoyte, explained that the doctors simply observed this unusual sequence of events, documented it and alerted the medical community that it is worth studying a possible relationship between cannabis and the child’s cause of death, myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle.
Their observations appeared in the August edition of the journal Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine as a case report, which is significantly different from a scientific study or research report that can be used to establish a causal relationship.
A spokesman for Denver Health wrote in an email that Hoyte would not be available for an interview late Thursday.
The report states that the child experienced an “unstable motel-living situation” and the parents admitted to drug possessions, including cannabis. Nappe said the authors urge parents to be vigilant and keep cannabis out of reach of children.
The report recommends: “In states where cannabis is legalized, it is important that physicians not only counsel parents on preventing exposure to cannabis, but to also consider cannabis toxicity in unexplained pediatric myocarditis and cardiac deaths as a basis for urine drug screening in this setting.”
Continue reading HERE
Originally reported by Ellie Silverman for The Washington Post