Wild mushrooms put toddler in hospital
Published Wednesday, July 29, 2009 5:20PM EDT
A Montreal family learned the hard way this week that eating wild mushrooms is extremely dangerous.
Three-year-old Elizabeth Blais spent 24 hours in hosiptal, ingesting charcoal through a nose tube, with an IV in her arm, because she nibbled on what turned out to be a poisonous mushroom.
Her father Alain was stunned, because the child was playing in the city.
"If you were in the woods in Hudson, that's something you'd expect, but on the front lawn in the city of Montreal?" said Alain Blais.
The mushrooms, growing on the grass in Ahuntsic, smelled fruity and apparently, they looked pretty appetizing.
Her father only noticed Elizabeth had eaten some after the fact.
"I could see she had some in her mouth and she was taking the pieces out," said Blais.
He called Poison Control, and was told to take his daughter straight to emergency.
The mushroom turned out to be the toxic lepiota josserand, better known as the "deadly parasol" because it looks like a little umbrella.
According to Dr. Suha Jabaji, lepiota josserand is one of two dozen deadly varieties in Quebec, out of 3000 kinds of mushrooms that grow wild.
"They're common in North America and they're common in Quebec," said Dr. Jabaji.
"People should not eat them or try to eat them, because they're playing russian roulette with their lives, they don't know what they are eating."
That appears to be what happened to a Waterville woman who died on Friday, three weeks after eating wild mushrooms.
This year's wet summer is offering perfect conditions for mushroom growing.
To eliminate the mushrooms, and the temptation for unsuspecting people to eat them, Dr. Jabaji recommends digging deep beneath mushrooms to get at the roots.