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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Neonate Death Due to Marijuana Toxicity to the Liver and Adrenals

Unusual clinical course, Challenging differential diagnosis, Unexpected drug reaction , Clinical situation which can not be reproduced for ethical reasons

Connie Bao, Shiping Bao

USA Champaign County Coroner’s Office, Urbana, IL, USA

Am J Case Rep 2019; 20:1874-1878

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.919545

Available online: 2019-12-15

Published: 2019-12-15


BACKGROUND: Marijuana is the considered the most widely available and used drug across the world. Up to this time, there have been no reports of human death directly caused by acute marijuana toxicity in adults, fetuses, or newborn neonates.
CASE REPORT: We report a death of an 11-day-old white female neonate due to acute marijuana toxicity. She died of extensive necrosis and hemorrhage of the liver and adrenals due to maternal use of marijuana.
CONCLUSIONS: This case is unique in that other possible causes of death can be eliminated. With growing use of marijuana by pregnant women and increases in newborn drug screening of umbilical cord homogenate, more cases of neonatal death due to acute marijuana toxicity could be discovered.

Keywords: Infant, Newborn, Marijuana Abuse, Pregnancy Complications, Death