FL: Florida Poison Control: 40 hospitalized for severe bleeding after taking ‘spice’ in Hillsborough County

An uptick in synthetic marijuana use in Hillsborough County has landed 40 people in the hospital for severe bleeding over the last few days, according to Florida Poison Control.

The Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa is warning the public about severe bleeding associated with the use of the synthetic cannabinoid “spice” in Hillsborough County.

Over the last week, 40 patients have been hospitalized with severe bleeding after using synthetic marijuana purchased in the Tampa area and one person has died.

The center said residents should be aware that symptoms may develop and progress rapidly.

The Poison Control Center sent clinical alerts to all emergency departments and asked them to report new cases. Toxicologists and poison specialists are helping hospitals in the treatment of the poisoned patients.

If you notice any bleeding after using synthetic marijuana, go to the nearest emergency room immediately, health experts said.

Poison information center experts are available day or night at 1-800-222-1222 to provide free, confidential help for poison emergencies or questions.

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County first notified residents about the risk a week ago after a number of people became severely ill after smoking “spice,” a synthetic form of marijuana.

Synthetic marijuana products are illegal and, in some cases, have severe and life-threatening effects.

The people who became sick had symptoms associated with coagulopathy, a condition in which the blood’s ability to clot is impaired. While the symptoms reported have varied, most cases have included bruising, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, vomiting blood, blood in urine or stool, and heavy menstrual bleeding.

There are different names used for synthetic marijuana, including synthetic cannabinoids, fake pot, fake weed, legal weed, spice, K-2, K-D, MindTrip, OMG, Black Giant, Matrix, Scooby Snacks, AK-47, Genie and Sexy Monkey.

The department of health is coordinating with hospitals, emergency medical services and other health care providers to keep an eye out for other people with these symptoms.

If you or someone you know has consumed this product, contact 911. If you are aware of a business or person selling this product, you should immediately contact law enforcement and the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.

The Florida Poison Information Center Tampa at Tampa General Hospital serves more than 7 million people throughout 16 counties in central and southwest Florida, including Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Seminole counties.

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