When I was a resident at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, I took care of a young man who came in worried about being poisoned. He lived with his mother in a public housing apartment building. He was hungry when he came home from work that night so the pan of red beans and rice on the stovetop looked good to him. As he was finishing them off, his mother came in the room. With an alarmed voice, she asked, “Why are you eating those red beans and rice?”
They had been having trouble with rats in the kitchen so she put rat poison in the pan of leftovers and left them on the stovetop with hopes of poisoning the rats.
As soon as he found this out, he came to the emergency department to be treated for his rat poisoning. Fortunately, this type of rat poison is not very toxic to humans so he was fine and needed no treatment.
Another such case happened to me more recently. A 42-year-old man came in saying he had taken a gulp of what he thought was Gatorade. As soon as he tasted it, he recognized it was not his Gatorade but “floor degreaser” a friend at work had poured into a Gatorade bottle for him to use at home. Again, he was not harmed by his ingestion.
Still, who would put rat poison in food on a stovetop and leave it? Who would put a clear blue-colored poisonous liquid in a Gatorade bottle and have it in his car along with the Gatorade he was drinking?
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