If you are joining the show late, our first installment on poisoning explained some of the medical jargon you will encounter here. Part two covered various types of poison and their effects. In this, our third and final round on poisoning, we are going looking at flora and fauna. Now, there's a ton of poisonous plants and animals out there. Books have been written on them. I couldn't cover them all but here's a few.
Again, there's a ton of poisonous plants out there. This is just a small taste. (Don't taste these plants!)
Belladonna - Also know as deadly nightshade, belladonna impacts the nervous system causing dry
mouth, enlarged pupils, blurred vision, fever, tachycardia, inability to urinate, sweating, hallucinations, spasms, seizures and coma. Both the berries and leaves are poisonous. It is purported that as few as two berries can kill a child and ten to twenty can kill an adult.
Castor Bean - see ricin
Rosary Pea - Abrin is the poison in the rosary pea. Exposure can be the result of inhalation, ingestion
Symptoms of inhalation include respiratory distress, fever, cough, nausea, heavy sweating and pulmonary edema. The build up of fluid in the lungs could cause cyanosis. Finally, low blood pressure and respiratory failure could occur.
Symptoms of ingestion are vomiting, bloody diarrhea (is there a grosser two word phrase? mercy!), severe dehydration and low blood pressure. Other possible symptoms may include hallucinations, seizures, and blood in the urine. Within several days, failure of the liver, spleen, and kidneys may occur.
Y'all, snakes are weapons. If the setting of your manuscript is rural or an area known for snakes, make use of them! Here are a few of the most poisonous snakes and the effects of their venom. Treatment of all bites by poisonous snakes should include professional medical care. One should never put ice on a bite or apply a tourniquet to a bitten limb. Also, an incision should not be made to the wound as it could cause further injury. And, I might as well say it: don't try to suck out the venom! I mean, really?
Here's a video on snake bites that just makes me happy. I don't know why they called an ambulance. The awesomeness and raw confidence of that second guy should have been enough to make the snake venom leave the body out of respect!
There's a ton of poisonous snakes out there. I couldn't possibly cover them all. I chose three biggies. I know I have readers from all over the world. Feel free to tell me what snake is an issue where you live. It will help other writers out on what snake is found where and how much of a problem it is. Oh, by the way, if you've heard baby snakes are more deadly because they can't control their venom, that is incorrect. They are less venomous according to this guy whom I believe because he has an Australian accent and is playing with a dangerous snake WHILE filming!!!!
Coral Snakes - The venom of the coral snake is one of most poisonous snake venoms in the world, second only to the black mamba. And, there is very little antivenin available to combat the effects of their bite. In fact, as of May 2017, the only producer of antivenin had stopped its production.
The good news is that not many people die of coral snake bites. The fangs of the snake just aren't terribly efficient at piercing skin and don't stand a chance against a decent pair of leather shoes. The bad new is that inefficiency isn't the same as inability.
If your character is bitten by a coral snake that character is in for some trouble and probably won't have a clue. Symptoms of a coral snake bite don't manifest for at least twelve to eighteen hours after the strike. Symptoms include muscle weakness, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, inability to move eyelids (who knew that was a thing!), blurred vision, decreased oxygen levels, paralysis and respiratory arrest.
|Corn and Coral Snakes|
Death Adder - Despite being known as Australia's top ambush predatory, the death adder is actually a "sit and wait" kind of predator. If you leave it alone, it will return the favor. (I only know that by reading, not experience.)
Legend has it that Cleopatra used a death adder to kill herself. If that's true, she sure chose a nasty
Rattlesnake (eastern and western diamondback, Mohave, timber) - Rattlesnake venom kills by causing cells of the body to hemorrhage and also by suppressing the nervous system.
Well, that's it for our series on poison. What's the next round about? Well, that's up to you. Let me hear from you on "the Twitter" @carlahoch #fightwrite
Until the next round at FightWrite.net, get blood on your pages!