Did marijuana kill an 11-month-old infant in Colorado? That is the question being raised in response to a new study published in the journal Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine.
According to the study, an 11-month-old infant was admitted to the hospital by the child’s guardians, reportedly stating that the child had been irritable, lethargic and had been retching for several days. Despite being seemingly healthy, the child was unresponsive and subsequently passed away shortly after admission.
Upon performing an autopsy, doctors found evidence of a condition called myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscles. Further examination revealed that the child had high concentrations of THC in his system, leading doctors to believe that the child had been exposed to marijuana.
Since the study’s publication, news media organizations across the nation have characterized the incident as the first-ever marijuana related death; however, the authors of the report claim that the study is being misinterpreted.
Although the report describes the incident as the “the first reported pediatric death associated with cannabis exposure,” report co-author Thomas Nappe told the Washington Post that the word “associated” should not be misconstrued as meaning either cause or effect.
“We are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child,” Nappe said.
Nappe went on to say that the report was a case study and that the doctors involved merely observed the incident and reported that it was a relationship that merits further study; a far cry from an academic research study.