Fourth Illinoisan Dies From Synthetic Marijuana

Thursday, 26 Apr, 2018

Another person has died from exposure to synthetic marijuana - the fourth in just the last few weeks, the IL department of Public Health said. A chemical found in rat poison, brodifacoum, prevents blood from clotting, resulting in severe bleeding.

On Monday, the state's public health department announced it would receive almost one million donated tablets of vitamin K, which will be used to treat people with bleeding resulting from synthetic cannabinoid use, according to a statement made by the public health department's director, Dr. Nirav Shah.

In recent weeks, victims have begun showing up in hospital emergency rooms after coughing up blood, bleeding in the urine, nose or gums, or having internal bleeding, officials said. Two men, one in his 20s and another in his 40s have also died in Central Illinois.

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A woman in her 30s died in IL as a result of smoking synthetic marijuana, the state's public health department announced on Tuesday. "It's not from what we can tell the synthetic marijuana itself that's causing the bleeding". "Like so many other drugs, synthetic cannabinoids are addictive and people are not able to give them up". The donation comes from the Bausch Foundation, the independent charitable organization of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.

Patients are treated with intravenous transfusions of vitamin K to restore their blood's clotting ability, followed by vitamin K pills. IDPH Director Dr. Nirav Shah says the donation will allow patients "to receive lifesaving treatment free of charge". Often the chemical ingredients, which are mixed with plant materials, changed to dodge certain laws, resulting in unpredictable, unsafe and deadly results.