Treatment

Most plant-related exposures require no treatment, and those that do often can be managed by simple decontamination procedures. Those patients with a potentially serious exposure who are asymptomatic should be observed in the emergency department for at least 4 to 6 h. If they remain asymptomatic, they may be discharged with appropriate instructions and follow-up. Symptomatic patients require ongoing monitoring and care and should be admitted to the hospital, because toxicity may continue to evolve. Few plants have specific antidotes.

It is recommended that all exposures be reported to the regional poison control center, which is the only national organization currently tracking all poisonous and injurious plants, and their input is invaluable. Poison centers are also helpful with plant identification. All exposures are potential toxicologic emergencies and should be treated accordingly, with appropriate consultation.

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