Additional cases have been reported across the state. It is also updated that the products of synthetic cannabinoid are unsafe. The symptoms have included patients coughing up blood, blood in the urine, a severe bloody nose, or bleeding gums.
"This bleeding is not expected, at least in such a significant population so quickly", Dr. Melissa Millewich, an emergency room physician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, told the Chicago Tribune.
Health officials in IL are warning people that synthetic marijuana can cause bleeding from the ears and eyes, according to news reports. "They can contain a variety of chemicals, and users often don't know what those are, such as rat poison", said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.
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There is a statewide ban on specific formulas of synthetic marijuana but manufacturers could be slightly changing the formula to sidestep the law and get the products sold, said Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the public health department.
While the synthetic drugs are dubbed "cannabinoids" because they affect the same brain cell receptors as marijuana, they are actually potentially made up of hundreds of chemicals - many of which can be toxic.
IDPH reports, "Anyone who has a reaction to synthetic cannabinoids should call 911 or have someone take them to the emergency department immediately".
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Melaney Arnold, a spokesperson for the IDPH, told the Chicago Tribune this new symptom could be a result of a change in chemical formula, but it is hard to tell without knowing the exact makeup of the products.
The bleeding that doctors have seen in recent days has been severe.
The products are also known as legal weed, synthetic marijuana and herbal or liquid incense, and come in forms that can be sprayed on plant material to be smoked or liquids that can be vaporized.
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The health department was still trying to identify common products in the cannabinoids and determine where they originated. "The vast majority have reported acquiring the product in the Chicagoland area", Layden said.