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Poisoning from plants or fungi S009

Last amended 
9 May 2019
Current RMA Instruments
Reasonable Hypothesis SOP
49 of 2019
Balance of Probabilities SOP
50 of 2019
Changes from previous Instruments

SOP Bulletin 208

ICD Coding
  • ICD-9-CM Codes: 988.1, 988.2, 708.8, 989.7
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: T62.0-.2, T64, T65.0, T57.3
Brief description

This SOP covers toxic effects from the ingestion of plants, fungi, or food/other substances that contain a plant or fungal toxin. It doesn't cover inflammation of the skin or eye from contact with a plant or fungal toxin, nor food allergies, nor a number of other specified conditions (see below).

Confirming the diagnosis

The diagnosis may be made on clinical grounds in some cases, where others will require blood or urine testing for confirmation.

The relevant medical specialist is a clinical toxicologist.

Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
  • Poisoning/ toxic reaction from:
    • Food contaminated with a plant or fungal toxin (including honey)
    • Plants consumed as food
    • Traditional herbal medicines
Conditions not covered by SOP
  • blepharitis
  • Coeliac disease
  • conjunctivitis
  • contact dermatitis (allergic/irritant/photo)
  • effects of:
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Cosmetics
    • Toiletries
    • Alcohol
    • Commercial tobacco
    • Illicit substances
  • food allergy
  • malignant neoplasms associated with toxins
Clinical onset

Poisoning will generally manifest as an acute illness a short time (from immediately to within 2 weeks) after exposure to the toxin.  For some poisons there can be a delayed reaction with hepatoxicity (liver), nephrotoxicity (kidneys), neurotoxicity (brain) or thyrotoxicity (thyroid gland) occurring up to two years after poison ingestion.

Clinical worsening

The only SOP worsening factor is for inability to obtain appropriate clinical management.  Some plant and fungal poisonings can result in serious illness or death.  Appropriate, timely treatment may limit tissue or organ damage and improve the prognosis.