More Cases of Severe Bleeding in Wisconsin Linked to Synthetic Cannabinoids
Latest confirmed case reported in Fond du Lac County
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has confirmed 16 additional cases of severe bleeding caused by the use of synthetic cannabinoids containing rat poison. That brings the total number of people affected in this outbreak to 80. The counties with confirmed cases include Dane, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Rock, and now Fond du Lac. These cases have ranged in age from 16 to over 50 years old. To date, there has been one death in Wisconsin associated with this outbreak.
“Synthetic cannabinoids are not safe, and we urge people not to use them, said Karen McKeown, State Health Officer. “This outbreak shows how hazardous they can be to your health.”
Since March, DHS has been investigating an outbreak of severe bleeding in people who have used synthetic cannabinioids, commonly called “Fake Weed,” “K2,” or “Spice,” among other names. Through the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the synthetic cannabinoid the patients had used contained brodifacoum, a chemical used in rat poison.
People who have used synthetic cannabinoids and experience unexplained bleeding, such as a nosebleed, bleeding gums, or bruising, should call 911 or go to an emergency department right away. This product can stay in a person’s system for months and bleeding could happen at any time, so anyone who has used synthetic cannabinoids should see a doctor.
Synthetic cannabinoid products are not legal in Wisconsin and they should not be confused with marijuana (cannabis) or cannabidiol (CBD). Synthetic cannabinoids are typically sprayed onto dried plant material and smoked, but can also be mixed into a liquid and vaped in e-cigarettes or other vaping devices.
This story originally appeared in the September 25, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter