Dr. Richard Geller, medical director for the CPCS at Children's Hospital, Madera, says, "No matter how experienced one is at mushroom identification, there is always a risk in eating wild mushrooms. There are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters, but no old, bold mushroom hunters. Contrary to folklore which says poison mushrooms are brightly colored, poison mushrooms typically look like most edible mushrooms." Annually, there are more than 1000 cases of poisonous mushroom ingestion reported to CPCS. Fatalities are uncommon, but several occur almost yearly.
Eating poisonous mushrooms can cause abdominal pain, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, liver damage and death. The most serious illnesses and deaths have been linked to mushrooms that cause liver damage, including Amanita ocreata, or "destroying angel" and Amanita phalloides, also known as the "death cap." Symptoms typically develop six to 12 hours after eating. Individuals with symptoms following wild mushroom ingestion or their health care providers should immediately contact CPCS at 1-800-222-1222.
Suggested Tweet: Never eat wild mushrooms which are still not safe after cooking. Call 1-800-222-1222.
You can learn more about a variety of poison issues by following CPCS on Facebook and on Twitter @poisoninfo. Sign up for weekly safety text messages to your cell phone by texting TIPS to 69866; and download a free iPhone or Android app at Choose Your Poison. CPCS is dedicated to providing California residents with the most up-to-date information and 24-hour help in case of poisoning. In case of an accidental poisoning, consumers should immediately call 1-800-222-1222 for advice. Specially trained pharmacists, nurses, physicians and poison information providers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help. In most cases, a poison exposure can be safely managed in your home, avoiding a call to 911 or a visit to a crowded hospital emergency department.
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