Poisonous Mushrooms Kill Nursing Home Residents
Written by Faith Anderson on November 12, 2012
Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mark Reed said Saturday that deputies were called at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 9, to the Gold Age Villa nursing home facility. “We got a report that some people had consumed some poisonous mushrooms,” said Reed. “We responded out to the facility and interviewed people to make sure there was no foul play. There wasn’t any…it was an accident.” Apparently, the caregiver “just didn’t know” that the mushrooms were poisonous. Although the type of mushrooms consumed by the nursing home residents and caregiver in this case are unknown, two varieties of mushroom commonly found in California – the Amanita phalloides and Amanita ocreata, called the “death cap” and “destroying angel,” respectively – are considered particularly dangerous.
A spokesperson for the California Department of Social Services, which is investigating the nursing home facility tragedy, said that Gold Age Villa was licensed in 2007 to the operator as a residential care home for six residents aged 60 and over. During the agency’s investigation of the facility in March 2012, it was cited for having excessively hot water, a deficiency that has since been corrected. Public health officials say that people who gather mushrooms should not eat them unless they have been examined for safety by an expert. People who develop symptoms after eating wild mushrooms should seek medical attention and contact the appropriate poison control hotline in their state.