The death of an 11-month-old infant from 2015 has resulted in a bold claim by Colorado doctors who believe the infant died of a cannabis overdose.
The case was released Thursday (Nov. 16), featuring Thomas M. Nappe, DO and Christopher O. Hoyte, MD. The health professionals studied the case of the infant, who died in 2015. The child suffered a seizure days after ingesting cannabis, which resulted in a case of myocarditis. In the findings, Hoyte believed the inflammation of the infant’s heart was brought on by the marijuana in his system. Myocarditis is rare for children and is normally caused by Coxsackievirus, which wasn’t found in the study.
“The only thing that we found was marijuana. High concentrations of marijuana in his blood. And that’s the only thing we found,” Hoyte told Colorado’s 9News. “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.”
There have been 986 pediatric cannabis ingestions from 2005 to 2011, with many linked to drowsiness, lethargy, irritability, seizures, nausea and vomiting, respiratory depression, bradycardia and hypotension. With the latest findings, this would be the first case connected to cannabis overdose.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration claims “no death from overdose of marijuana has been reported.” The argument is also used for advocates and parents who’s children have positively benefited from medicinal cannabis. The National Institutes of Health also says there is “insufficient evidence” connected to deaths in THC overdose.
However, other doctors and professionals are combating the findings. Emergency Medicine Specialist Dr. Noah Kaufman told the news outlet the proclamation might be a stretch armstrong.
“That statement is too much. It’s too much as far as I’m concerned,” said Dr. Kaufman said. “Because that is saying confidently that this is the first case. ‘We’ve got one!’ And I still disagree with that. I’m going to have to call ‘BS’ on this one,” he added. “I’m not saying that it’s not. But I think it’s a pretty big leap to say that it is.”
The study also included the infant lived in “an unstable motel-living situation and parental admission of drug possession, including cannabis.” The amount digested by the child is unknown. It’s also unknown the type of cannabis the child consumed, making other professionals claim an allergy to the wax or other additive could also be the cause of death.
“The child didn’t leave the house between being normal and being sick. The child had THC in the blood and in the urine and there were marijuana products in the house,” Hoyte said. “I feel very comfortable with the workup that we did and how much we ruled out in this particular case.”
“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.”
Because of its legal status, the state has laid down the laws with marijuana candies. A rule introduced last month sites a ban of edibles that resemble the shapes of people, fruit and animals.
Read the case in its entirety here.