Successful transplantation of donor organs from a hemlock poisoning victim

Preston F. Foster, Robert McFadden, Raul Trevino, Scott Galliardt, Lea Ann Kopczewski, Kristene Gugliuzza, Zulma Gonzalez, Francis Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background. The poison hemlock plant (Conium maculatum) has been a known poison since early in human history, most notably as the agent used for the execution/suicide of Socrates in ancient Greece. No experience has been reported regarding the suitability of a hemlock victim's organs for transplantation. Methods and Results. This report documents successful transplantation of the liver, kidney, and pancreas from a 14-year-old girl who died of anoxic encephalopathy from asphyxia after the accidental ingestion of fresh hemlock while on a nature hike. Predonation laboratory values were not remarkable, and liver and kidney biopsy results were normal. All organs in the three recipients had immediate function, and no recipient had any clinical evidence of transmitted toxin. All recipients are well, with functioning transplants at greater than 6 months after transplantation. Conclusions. Poison hemlock intoxication does not seem to be a contraindication to organ donation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-876
Number of pages3
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 15 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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