Blueberry “spice” in Wyoming linked to cases of renal failure
March 3, 2012, 3:35 pm
The online Wyoming news service trib.com is reporting that up to 14 patients have presented to Casper-area hospitals with renal failure after smoking a blueberry-flavored product marketed as the synthetic cannabinoid “spice”. Officials say that the condition of three patients is life-threatening, and one person has been airlifted to Denver with complete renal shutdown.
Tracy Murphy, a Wyoming state epidemiologist, told Reuters: “At this point, we are viewing use of this drug as a potentially life-threatening situation”. Presenting symptoms have included nausea, vomiting, back pain, and movement or balance disorders.
The Wyoming State Crime Laboratory is working to identify the chemicals contained in the suspect batch of blueberry “spice”. Three people have been held on unrelated charges in association with the investigation.
TPR will keep a close eye on developments in this story. If the association between the “spice” product and clinical renal failure is confirmed, it will be important to determine what in the mixture affected renal function so drastically. In addition, it will be interesting to learn what type of renal failure occurred: Was it rhabdomyolysis? interstitial nephritis? acute tubular necrosis?
Thanks to @hrana and Justin Moore for alerting me to this story.
***NOTE: Click here for an important update to this story.***