Mushroom Poisoning Kills Fourth Person at Senior Care Facility in California

Mushroom Soup Poisoning

Another elderly person at a senior care facility in Northern California died on Tuesday from eating soup made from poisonous mushrooms. She was identified as Dorothy Mary Hart.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Department said that there have been three others at the six-bed Gold Age Villa care facility in Loomis who have died from eating the mushroom in what investigators have considered to be an accident.  The Department of Social Services is in charge of investigating the case, and has stated that it cannot release any information on an ongoing investigation.

All of the victims from the senior care center were sickened on November 8, including the caretaker who made it. The other people who have died were identified as 86-year-old Barbara Lopes; 73-year-old Teresa Olesniewicz and 90-year-old Frank Warren Blodgett.

The soup was pinpointed as the cause behind all the poisonings because of the fact that the only person living at the Gold Age Villa senior care home who did not get sick, did not eat dinner that night the soup was made.

The caretaker who made the soup, picked the mushrooms to make the soup from the backyard of the care facility and didn’t know they were poisonous.

Fall is when the wild chanterelle mushrooms in Northern California begins to be highly sought. Mushrooms experts warn that young poisonous North American amanitas found in the San Francisco Bay Area can sometimes look like the edible version of a wild mushroom popular in Asia.

Every year, the State of California’s Department of Health issues warnings about picking and eating wild mushrooms. California recorded 1,700 cases of mushroom-related illnesses from 2009 to 2010, including two deaths.

According to Dr. Kent R. Olson, medical director of the San Francisco division of the California Poison Control System, vomiting and diarrhea associated with mushroom poisoning can take 12 hours or longer to develop, which often makes it difficult to diagnose. Mushroom poisoning can often lead to liver failure.

The loss of fluids can cause kidney failure, but the poisons attack the liver and stop the organ from producing normal proteins. The victim usually falls into a coma, and the liver eventually shuts down and dies, reported Inquisitr.

“This is an ongoing tragedy, an unfortunate accident,” said Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office in a statement.

John Demas, Sacramento Injury Attorney notes, “This tragic case highlights important issues about living facilities for seniors or the disabled. While many do try to uphold strong standards of care and safety, it is all too common for one employee to create problems for the facility by negligence, carelessness, or even deliberate abuse of the residents. Experts estimate that one in three nursing care residents are abused or neglected during their stays in these facilities. This case certainly qualifies as a case of abuse by negligence leading to the death and serious illness of several residents. The fact that the worker had no intention of hurting anyone and was in fact affected along with the residents in no way changes the liability of the facility for this disaster.”

Mushroom Poisoning Kills at Senior Care Facility

Another person has died from accidental mushroom poisoning at a California senior care facility, bringing the total death toll to four. The first three died after a caregiver at their senior care facility inadvertently served them a meal with poisonous mushrooms picked on the Loomis, Calif., property.

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