Belladonna is a perennial plant with poisonous properties. It grows on forest edges, roads, river banks in many regions of the globe. It has many synonyms: demoiselle, sleepy stupor, dye, mad berry, belladonna common, mad cherry.
Translated from Italian, belladonna means “beautiful woman”. Indeed, in the old days, the young ladies of the belladonna rubbed their cheeks to impart a “natural blush”, buried her juice in the eyes for shine and pupil expansion.
What is dangerous belladonna
The composition of the plant includes atropine, which causes poisoning. Atropine is found in the roots, leaves, stems, fruits, and flowers. Very often, people confuse the berries of belladonna with wild cherries and eat them. Children need only eat 2–3 berries, and adults 15–20 berries to cause severe poisoning. The juice of the plant is also dangerous, if contaminated hands touch the mucous membranes of the mouth and eyes, skin of the face.
Therefore, it is impossible to eat unknown berries and plants, and be careful when working with belladonna (use protective equipment, wash hands with soap). Belladonna-based drugs can also cause poisoning with alkaloids of belladonna. Therefore, you need to follow the dosage and caution when taking medications from belladonna.
Symptoms of Belladonna poisoning
Symptoms of belladonna poisoning are as follows:
- dryness, burning in the mouth and throat;
- difficulty swallowing;
- feeling of coma in the throat;
- hoarse voice until the complete loss;
- possible skin rash;
- dilation of the pupils, clarity is lost to see nearby objects, no reaction to light;
- thirst, nausea, vomiting;
- rare urination and constipation, sometimes diarrhea;
- palpitations up to 150 beats per minute, arrhythmia;
- lower blood pressure;
- severe shortness of breath;
- dryness and redness of the skin;
- swelling of the face, forearms, legs;
- Blue lips and mucous membranes;
- complete loss of orientation;
- motor agitation, sometimes convulsions;
- mental agitation, even hallucinations and delusions.
The clinical picture of belladonna poisoning
When belladonna poisoning, the first symptoms appear after 10–20 minutes. The victims experience dry mouth, palpitations become more frequent, the skin and face turn red, the temperature rises, the pupils dilate, there is no reaction to light. In the first minutes there is excitement, fussiness, vigor. The thoughts of the victims are changing at lightning speed. Victims are cheerful, fussy, talkative, laughing, dancing. Arousal is growing, hallucinations appear, some voices and sounds are heard. They can not distinguish colors, objects with dark color become bright. Patients constantly say something, whisper, perhaps the occurrence of attacks of aggression, rabies. About these patients they say "hell over all." After 8–12 hours, the victims gradually subside, weakness arises, they fall asleep.
With a large concentration of poison in patients with orientation completely lost. They have a pronounced mental as well as motor arousal, up to seizures. The temperature rises, the pulse becomes weak filling, blood pressure decreases, shortness of breath appears, lips and mucous membranes turn blue. Cardiovascular failure and respiratory arrest when belladonna may be fatal.
First aid and treatment
Immediately call an ambulance brigade! And the first pre-medical care should be started to render, without waiting for the arrival of a doctor.
If belladonna poisoning is necessary to do a gastric lavage. In patients it is necessary to induce vomiting, to remove poison from the body. To do this, give the affected person a solution to drink. Several options of solution from 250 to 1250 ml:
- weak potassium permanganate solution (manganese several crystals);
- weak tea;
- salt solution (at the rate of 2–4 teaspoons per cup of warm water).
Tea and potassium permanganate contain tannin, which is able to bind belladonna alkaloids, which will not allow atropine to be absorbed into the stomach.
Vomiting can be caused by pressing on the root of the tongue with a spoon. In case of a serious condition, gastric lavage is carried out by doctors through a tube, after having been lubricated with plenty of oil due to the dryness of the mucous membranes. If there is a need to re-conduct gastric lavage, then it can be repeated after 60 minutes.
To remove toxins, a suspension of activated carbon is used, for which you need to crush 20-30 tablets and pour about 200 ml of cold water.
In medicine, there are several antidotes for belladonna. A 1% solution of Pilocarpine from 0.2 to 1 ml, or a 0.05% solution of Proserin from 0.1 to 1 ml, or a 0.1% solution of Ezerin 0.1% from 0.1 to 1 ml is injected subcutaneously.
- To relieve psychic arousal, 2 ml of 2.5% Aminazine solution is injected intramuscularly or 2 ml of 1% Promedol solution subcutaneously.
- To reduce the temperature of the body, wiping with wet towels, cold on the head, and wrapping with wet sheets are used. Amidopyrine solution 4% 10–20 ml is injected intramuscularly.
- In case of respiratory failure, inhalation of humidified oxygen is used. If the patient cannot breathe independently, then he is transferred to artificial respiration of the lungs. Camphor solution of 20% 1 ml is injected subcutaneously.
- Caffeine tablets are taken to relieve weakness.
- Rest and bed rest are necessary for victims.
When belladonna poisoning requires mandatory hospitalization of all victims in the infectious disease ward for thorough examination and treatment, despite the severity of the poisoning. Full recovery occurs from 14 to 20 days.
Severe poisoning can lead to death, the main causes of which are respiratory paralysis and cardiovascular failure.
Remember, belladonna is a very poisonous plant!