When a young 11-month old infant passed away two years ago in Colorado, there was some debate as to what killed the child.
Two poison control doctors have now claimed to have documented the first known case of death caused by a marijuana overdose. Their case report has been published in the journal Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine.
Doctors Thomas Nappe and Christopher Hoyte are responsible for the case report and they were also the doctors who worked on the baby’s care as part of their duties at the regional poison control center.
According to the doctors, damage to the child’s heart muscle was brought on by ingesting marijuana.
Though the case was published in a medical Journal this past March, this is the first time the doctors have publicly discussed the case.
“The only thing that we found was marijuana. High concentrations of marijuana in his blood. And that’s the only thing we found,” Hoyte explained. “The kid never really got better. And just one thing led to another and the kid ended up with a heart stopped. And the kid stopped breathing and died.”
If the claim is correct, Dr. Hoyte would have documented the only time a marijuana overdose is known to have caused a human death.
Other doctors have been critical, including Dr. Noah Kaufma of Northern Colorado who said, “That statement is too much. It’s too much as far as I’m concerned.
Because that is saying confidently that this is the first case. ‘We’ve got one!’ And I still disagree with that.”
“We extensively ruled out almost every other cause that we can think of,” Dr. Hoyte has said to 9NEWS. “Myself, our team, plus the primary team taking care of the patient, plus the coroner who did the post-mortem on the child. And we found no other reason why this young kid ended up having inflammation on his heart.”
“We just wanted to make sure that we’re not going to call this a marijuana-related fatality if there was something else that we could point at. And we looked and looked and couldn’t find it,” Hoyte said.