Teenager Suffers Serious Burns after Exposure to Plant

A Dublin mother has warned other parents to be vigilant after her 14-year-old daughter was left with “severe burns” from a toxic plant found growing in Ireland.

Lorraine Young rushed 14-year-old daughter, Ellie, to Crumlin Children’s Hospital last week when she developed blisters and burning on her left arm.

The teenager was feeling unwell throughout the evening and noticed the markings start to appear on her arm, with blisters forming near her elbow.

After Ellie started to develop hallucinations and a feeling of faintness her mother brought her straight to the emergency department at the Crumlin Hospital.

When they arrived at the hospital they were told that Ellie, who is a promising athlete and plays gaelic football, camogie and soccer, had come into contact with Giant Hogweed, a common plant found near riverbeds and in parkland.

The teenager’s arm blistered badly promoting her mother to take her to hospital.
Ellie’s wound after she was treated for exposure to Giant Hogweed

Ellie played a gaelic football match last weekend and trains regularly in several parks around the capital but she doesn’t remember coming into contact with any plant seeds, however, doctors confirmed that even slight exposure can have an adverse affect.

There has been a recent spate of Giant Hogweed burns in the UK as the toxic plant thrives in warm weather with experts describing the innocuous looking weed as “the most dangerous plant in Britain” and police issuing warnings to the public.

The Crumlin mother is now calling on other parents, and children, to keep an eye out for the hazardous organism. Lorraine said: “At first we thought it might be sunburn but as Ellie began to feel unwell we knew it was something more. I had never heard of Hogweed before now and I want to warn other parents to be aware of the damage it can do.”

Giant Hogweed

Ellie is currently taking strong antibiotics to fight infection and will also need follow-up care with the hospital due to the severity of her burns.

The talented 14-year-old GAA player will also be out of action for the foreseeable future as the painful burn on her arm needs time to heal.

If you are exposed to Hogweed it is recommended that you wash the area that has come into contact with the plant thoroughly with soap and cold water and keep away from sunlight for 48 hours. If the area is inflamed or painful visit your doctor immediately.

About Lynda O'Donoghue Donnelly

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