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AGRICULTURE NEWS



 
 
Please don’t swallow santol seeds, they could be deadly

A surgeon from the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center (OMMC) has warned the public not to swallow santol seeds as they could cause premature death.

Dr. Reynaldo Joson, chairman of the department of surgery of OMMC, revealed that a week ago, a 47-year-old female vendor died as a result of complication of swallowed santol seeds.

The woman, he said, ate about 10 Bangkok santol fruits and swallowed all the seeds - about 30 to 40 of them. Three to four days later, she consulted at OMMC because of acute abdominal pain.

Dr. Joson said that on examination, severe tenderness was all over the abdomen. With a diagnosis of perforated intestines secondary to swallowed santol seeds, an operation was immediately done. Upon opening the abdomen, fecal materials were seen all over the cavity leaking out from three perforations in the large intestines.

The perforations were caused by the sharp ends of Bangkok santol seeds. As treatment, the attending surgeons had to remove the segment of the large intestine containing the perforations, put out a colostomy (artificial anus on the abdominal wall) and clean the abdominal cavity to remove the feces. The surgeons tried their best to save the patient. However, on the 4th day after the operation, the patient died of uncontrollable and irreversible septicemia (infection in the blood stream).

Dr. Joson said that the case last week is not the only case that has occurred in the Philippines. Most likely, he said, there are other similar cases occurring in other hospitals, especially government ones, and throughout the country which are not being reported and publicized.

Last year, he added, during the same season, OMMC and the Philippine General Hospital had about two cases each. Short of a registry, we feel that death from swallowing santol seeds is reaching or has reached a public health magnitude that a health advisory is necessary.

He said that the OMMC Surgery Departmet is starting a registry on swallowed santol seeds causing surgical abdomen.

He also advised that if santol seeds are accidentally swallowed, watch out for abdominal pain. If abdominal pain occurs, consult an abdominal surgen (general surgeon) right away who will give the necessary advice on what to do next.


 
 
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Today is Monday,
May 26, 2003

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