Condition of 3 Handwara Family Members Suspected to Have Consumed ‘Rhubarb Leaves’ Remains Critical

Srinagar, Mar 30 (GNS): Condition of three members of a Handwara family, suspected to have consumed ‘Rhubarb leaves’ on Tuesday evening, continues to remain critical at a hospital here, officials said.

“At least eleven members of the family were hospitalized after being found lying in an unconscious condition by their neighbours in Shirhama Mawar Handwara last evening”, the officials said.

“The villagers took the victims to PHC Qalamabad from where eight with higher complications were taken to District Hospital Handwara and on initial assessment at the hospital, the doctors referred all (eight) of them to SMHS Hospital Srinagar”, they told GNS.

“Condition of three (family) members remains critical as of now”, they said.

When contacted, a medical officer at District Hospital Handwara told GNS that prima facie it seems that the herbs (forest vegetables) they consumed were poisonous in nature.

A doctor who initially examined the victims at NTPHC Qalamabad told GNS that they (family) more probably seem to have taken ill because of consuming a wild herb called Rhubarb (known in Kashmiri as Braand). “Rhubarb leaves contain high amounts of oxalic acid, which can cause health problems when eaten in higher amounts”, he said adding “symptoms of toxicity include mild gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as more serious problems, such as kidney stones and kidney failure.”

“We hope all of them are alright very soon”, the doctor opined. (GNS)

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