Omer Taskin, Fuat Belli, Ayca Acikalin, Nezihat Rana Disel

Çukurova University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Adana, Turkey

Keywords: Oleander poisoning, Nerium oleander, CorrosiveEsophagitis


Introduction: Nerium oleander is a toxic ornamental plant which usually grows in the Mediterranean area. In the past it was used to produce cardiotonic medicine and there are studies on using this plant as an anti-cancer medicine and on its use in alternative medicine for many causes.

Case Presentation: Our case was of a 36 years old male who came to the emergency department with sore throat and burning feel in the throat following his curious bite of the oleander leaf. He had no trouble of breathing. The physical examination of the mouth showed burn-like lesions and edema of the uvula, oropharyngeal hyperemia, congestion and on the second day; necrosis. The edema and necrosis were later reduced with the treatment. We discharged the patient after observing for three following days without any complications or side effects.

Conclusion: Besides the systemic effects of the oleander plant, this case demonstrates that it could cause serious tissue necrosis when applied locally and corrosive esophagitis when taken by oral way. Patients must be examined and followed also for local toxic effects.