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Man's Quest for Soup Lands Him in Hospital

One man's quest for a rustic soup landed him in the emergency room.
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 11/24/2009, 8:57 PM / Last Update: 11/24/2009, 10:03 PM

One man's intent to prepare a steaming bowl of mushroom soup ended in the emergency room Tuesday. A resident of Karmiel suffered symptoms of poisoning following the consumption of mushroom soup made of fungi gathered from the woods near his house.

Magen David Adom (MDA) staff who treated the 51 year old said the man was very lucky, as he did not appear to suffer any long term damage.

The man – who just wanted to make himself a tasty soup – was treated for delusions, tremors and abdominal pain in the hospital of Nahariya.  The staff consulted with the Poisoning Center of Haifa's Rambam Hospital, which prescribed a drug protocol that brought the patient back to sorts and stabilized him.

On many winters, and especially after the first rains, MDA teams encounter numerous similar cases that sometimes end in irreversible damage. MDA asks the public to take precautions and avoid eating wild-picked mushrooms. These are difficult to safely identify as edible based on their appearance alone.

Israel has about 400 kinds of mushrooms, but only about 40 species are actually edible. Poisonous mushrooms contain chemicals which can cause severe nerve, liver, and kidney damage, and be life-threatening.