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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 19(3); 2008 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2008;19(3): 339-345.
An Outbreak of Caowu-intoxication after Drinking Home-brewed Alcohol
Sang Chul Kim, Young Rock Ha, Young Sik Kim, Ho Jung Kim
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Kyeonggi Provincial Medical Center Pocheon Hospital, Pocheon, Korea.
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Pundang Jesaeng Hospital, Seongnam, Korea. emckys@dmc.or.kr
3Department of Emergency Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea.
Caowu (aconite) is derived from the roots of certain aconitum species (Racunculaceae), which are widely distributed both in China and Korea. Aconitine, an extremely toxic ingredient present in aconite, has pharmacological effects including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and positive inotropic actions. Due to its relatively low safe dose, we sometimes encounter cases of serious Caowu intoxication. A group of women visited our emergency department with various symptoms after drinking home-brewed alcohol together on a sightseeing tour. The fifteen affected individuals were admitted to our hospital. We checked the home-brewed alcohol and found about 7 aconites in the liquor bottle, indicating that the patients were experiencing aconitine poisoning. We report the characteristics of an outbreak of aconitine intoxication resulting from drinking alcohol mixed with aconites.
Key words: Aconitine, Poisoning
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