Friday, July 19, 2024

Medical Emergency at Hendy Woods After Two Patients Consume ‘Poisonous Mushrooms’

Hendy Woods State Park [Photograph from Flickr user Sharon Mollerus]

Scanner traffic beginning at approximately 4:39 p.m. indicates that medical personnel was deployed to Hendy Woods west of Philo for a patient in a white Dodge van requesting assistance after eating “poisonous mushrooms.”

Medical personnel arrived on the scene and reported to dispatch that there were in fact two patients requiring care and requested an air ambulance respond.

Both patients reportedly refused an air ambulance so the medic on scene requested two ground ambulances be deployed.

    Please remember that this story is unfolding. Information is being reported as we gather it. However, some of the information coming from witnesses and initial official reports could be wrong. We will do our best to get the facts but, in the case that something is inaccurate, we will update with correct information as soon as we can.

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    1. With so many dangerous mushrooms and most of the best ones easily to ID such a mistake can only be made by being careless. There are many groups that are more than happy to teach Mushroom safety. I have joined the Santa-Cruz Mycological Society on a few of their trips and it was easy to learn to be safe. Such groups are very happy to educate and the company is great.

    2. Of all the abundant mushrooms that grow in this area, only a tiny fraction are actually life-threatening.
      Anyone who’s out hunting mushrooms that isn’t experienced and doesn’t really know what they’re doing is just not using common sense if they consume any before identifying them properly.
      Remember, there are old mushrooms hunters, and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are NO old, bold mushroom hunters!
      I hope the outcome for these folks was good

    3. I hope this poisoning is not a serious one. Amanita is out in the woods now. One edible kind is the “Coccora” which looks like other amanitas that are poisonous and which are also prevalent right now. The “Coccora” (Amanita calyptroderma) is a popular mushroom with Italian-Americans who know how to identify it, but others may mistake it for something else similar. Even the innocent common button mushroom (Agaricus campestris) can cause stomach upset in some wild forms. The only way to tell if you have the slightly poisonous kind is to take a tiny taste and wait a half hour or so to see if anything “untoward” occurs. It is not life-threatening, just uncomfortable. With a tiny bite of the wild button (Agaricus campestris) the worst that will happen is queasiness.
      The most serious type of mushroom poisoning is Amanita phalloides, the “death cap”, a mushroom which is becoming more common in our area. There is an experimental anti-toxin called Legalon SIL, made from milk thistle, which has been used successfully in cases of Amanita phalloides poisoning in preventing liver transplant or death, in this country, but Legalon SIL is only legal in Europe so far. . There is a Legalon hotline for anyone who is suspected of suffering this kind of poisoning: 866-520-4412. It seems there are a few hospitals in Northern California where procuring it and using it is possible.


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    Matt LaFever
    Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
    I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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