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Baby's death becomes the first to be 'associated with cannabis' in the US, report states

'Just one thing led to another and the kid ended up with a heart stopped'

Molly Fleming
Saturday 18 November 2017 15:02 GMT
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There could be a link between marijuana and heart failure in children
There could be a link between marijuana and heart failure in children (REUTERS/Andres Stapff)

A baby boy death has prompted a debate among doctors after it was claimed that he died of a marijuana overdose.

After suffering from a seizure, the 11-month-old died from heart failure in 2015 in Colorado hospital.

Doctors subsequently produced a report linking his death to marijuana.

“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,” Dr. Christopher Hoyte of Colorado's Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center told the KUSA news channel. “And we looked and couldn't’t find it.”

Dr Hoyte has been on duty as a poison control officer when he treated the child and found his urine and blood tested positive for marijuana .

He said: “Just one thing led to another and the kid ended up with a heart stopped. And the kid stopped breathing and died."

The report concluded: “As of this writing, this is the first reported paediatric death associated with cannabis.”

However, Dr Thomas Nappe who co-authored the report, told the The Washington Post: "We are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child.”

He argued that the word “associated” should not be interpreted as indicating a cause and effect

Officially, the baby boy died from myocarditis, inflammation on the heart and is worse in newborns and young infants. Most cases are caused by a virus reaching the heart muscle but doctors ruled out viral infection as the cause.

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