Characteristics of emergency department presentations following ingestion of Taxus baccata (yew).

Buetler, Vanessa Alexandra; Braunshausen, Alexandra Maria; Weiler, Stefan; Klukowska-Rötzler, Jolanta; Exadaktylos, Aristomenis K; Liakoni, Evangelia (2023). Characteristics of emergency department presentations following ingestion of Taxus baccata (yew). Clinical toxicology, 61(2), pp. 104-109. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/15563650.2022.2158097

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Presentations of Taxus baccata (yew) poisoning can range between asymptomatic cases and life-threatening cardiotoxicity - depending on the amount ingested. This study aimed to describe emergency department (ED) presentations after yew exposure, and covers their clinical presentation, diagnostic and specific treatment, to contribute to optimising intreatment and prophylaxis.


Retrospective observational study of cases (≥ 16 years of age) presenting at the ED of the University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland, from 1 May 2012 to 31 May 2020 following reported yew exposure. Cases were retrieved from the electronic patient database using full-text terms.


During the study period, 55 presentations (11 patients) of the 350,381 ED attendances were included. All patients were female and the median age on first presentation was 22 years (range 16-48). All 10 patients with intentional intake had previous diagnoses of psychiatric disorders. Commonly reported symptoms on presentation were gastrointestinal disturbances (31 presentations, 56%), neurological (six presentations, 11%) and subjective cardiovascular symptoms (five presentations, 9%). The most frequent clinical findings on presentation were tachycardia (15 presentations, 27%) and hypotension (11 presentations, 20%). In 52 presentations (95%), gastroscopic extraction of the leaves was performed, activated charcoal was administered in 25 cases (45%), and there were no fatalities. In the majority of the cases (40, 73%), the patient was admitted to psychiatric care and in 10 (18%) the patient was discharged home.


ED presentations after yew exposure appear to be rare, but potentially life-threatening and commonly observed in this study in young female patients with underlying psychiatric diseases. In this case series, gastroscopic extraction and activated charcoal application were commonly performed and there were no fatalities.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > University Emergency Center

UniBE Contributor:

Bütler, Vanessa Alexandra, Weiler, Stefan, Klukowska-Rötzler, Jolanta, Exadaktylos, Aristomenis, Liakoni, Evangelia


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Taylor & Francis




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

11 Jan 2023 11:58

Last Modified:

18 Mar 2023 00:13

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Taxus baccata emergency department poisoning taxines yew


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