Poison hemlock-induced respiratory failure in a toddler

Patrick L. West, B. Zane Horowitz, Marc T. Montanaro, James N. Lindsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The ingestion of poison hemlock, or Conium maculatum, is described in a 2-year-old boy. He had the onset of abdominal pain and weakness after being fed C. maculatum picked by his sister from the roadside 2 hours earlier. He had a rapidly progressive muscular weakness and was intubated for respiratory failure. His symptoms completely resolved within 24 hours of the ingestion. Conium maculatum is a common weed that causes toxicity by its primary toxin, coniine, which stimulates nicotinic receptors and causes a syndrome of rapidly progressive muscle weakness and paralysis. We describe the course of a benign-appearing plant ingestion resulting in respiratory failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-763
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric emergency care
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Conium maculatum
  • Plant
  • Poison hemlock
  • Respiratory failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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