Poisoning cases reported on South Whidbey

Four people on South Whidbey were left in critical condition “in the last week” after accidentally poisoning themselves, according to South Whidbey Fire/EMS Deputy Chief Wendy Moffatt.

Moffatt said the latest update the fire district received from hospitals indicated the patients would recover.

Details are unclear due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which protects patient privacy. Moffatt confirmed the victims are South Whidbey residents, but wouldn’t say where on the island.

“They were critical patients, yet are all hopeful to make a full recovery now,” Moffatt said.

“In the last week, we almost lost four people because they ate something they did not recognize was dangerous.”

Two adults accidentally poisoned themselves by eating mushrooms picked on their property. Moffatt said the adults could be described as mushroom experts who had foraged fungi on their property for years.

It is unclear if the adult victims were foraging for edible mushrooms, or psilocybe mushrooms, known for their psychedelic properties.

They’re also known as “magic mushrooms.”

In an unrelated case, two children “under the age of five” became critically ill after ingesting horse medicine. She said the two children got into “foil-wrapped medication” in their home.

It is unclear what the medication was, but it led Palmer to urge caution in the home when storing medications.

“Accidental overdose of any medicine is possible,” Palmer said. “We see it in our older population often when they take meds and take it again because they forgot. I can only ask people to be careful with their medications, especially if kids are around.”

Palmer also warns that some mushrooms can be deadly.

“People need to be really careful,” Chief Rusty Palmer said. “When it comes to mushrooms, people need to be abundantly sure that they know what they’re doing. I don’t know much about them, but there are some that look like other safe and edible kinds of mushrooms.”

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