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August 2019

J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1995 ; 33(1): 83-6.

Urginea maritima (squill) toxicity.

Tuncok Y, Kozan O, Cavdar C, Guven H, Fowler J.

Dokuz Eylul University Hospital, Izmir, Turkey.

A 55 year-old female ingested two bulbs of Urginea maritime (squill) plant as a folk remedy for her arthritic pains. Her past history was significant for Hashimoto thyroiditis and she was hypothyroid upon presentation. Subsequent effects resembling those seen with cardiac glycoside intoxication included nausea, vomiting, seizures, hyperkalemia, atrioventricular block and ventricular arrhythmias resembling digitalis toxicity. A serum digoxin level by an enzyme immunoassay method was 1.59 ng/mL. Despite supportive treatment and pacing, the patient expired from ventricular arrhythmias 30 h after ingestion. Squill has been recognized since antiquity for the clinical toxicity of its cardiac glycosides, but this appears to be the first report of a fatality since 1966.

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