In 2021, 6 people were poisoned by mushrooms, according to the report “Health Situation of the Country in 2021” published in September. Those are two cases in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship and four cases in the Lublin Voivodeship. In the Lublin region, adults were poisoned by green frogs (called phylumbius). In Western Pomerania, two children were diagnosed with poisoning, who were eating rice on the side of the road. It is an edible mushroom being introduced to the market, says the professor. Andrzej Brodkiewicz, Head of the Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Nephrology, Dialysis and Treatment of Acute Poisoning at the Hospital “Zdroje” in Szczecin, edible mushrooms are often the reason for a visit to the ward.
Children often eat mushrooms … by mistake
– You don’t want your child to get mushroom poisoning? Don’t give them to him at all. No child will die from frog poisoning if no one feeds him mushrooms in a cutlet – says the professor. Brodkiewicz in an interview with “Wprost”. At the same time, he assures that education in this matter is yielding real results. This is confirmed, for example, by general statistics provided by GIS. Cases of poisoning are intermittent and there are certainly fewer than in the past – for example, in the whole country in 2019 there were 27, in 2016 – 46.
Often patients who come to us eat mushrooms by chance. It’s usually, as I call it, “backyard mushrooms” and instances where a parent fails to take care of them and a child picks mushrooms off the lawn and puts them in their mouth. Ideally, the caregivers also bring a mushroom or part of it with the child, then we know immediately what we are dealing with. Our youngest patient, after such an accidental ingestion of a mushroom, was less than a year old – says the doctor.
a. Brodkiewicz states that mushrooms are difficult to digest and even edible ones, which adults eat without any consequences, can cause inconvenience to the child. You don’t need to specify what kind of stress everyone is under. After all, parents are not sure whether they gave the child a poisonous mushroom. It also puts a strain on the child himself, because he has to stay on the ward. She confirms that gastric lavage and the procedures we carry out are not pleasant.
Flip the mushrooms, because… it’s safer
What mistakes do we most often make when choosing mushrooms and where do tragic mistakes come from? Wiesław Kamiński, mushroom expert and founder of the NaGrzyby.pl portal, believes that one of the biggest problems is the lack of attention to detail. – That’s why I always say to roll mushrooms, not to cut them. As for the mushroom itself, it does not matter at all, it is scientifically proven. The mushrooms will appear in the same place, no matter what collection method you use. However, the torsion gives us a chance to see what is not visible above the Earth. If we cut a mushroom, we wouldn’t see, for example, the defining characteristic of the vagina that allows us to conclude that this mushroom is not a deadly green undercoat – he explains.
In the list of errors that may end with a visit to the hospital, a specialist also mentioned improper storage of mushrooms.
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