|Gaby Scanlon, 18, began feeling breathless after having the drink during a night out |
with friends in Lancaster city centre in the UK. Picture: supplied / ThinkStock Source: Supplied
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A TEENAGER nearly died and had her stomach removed in hospital after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen.
Gaby Scanlon, from Heysham in the UK, drank the cocktail during a night out celebrating her 18th birthday in Lancaster last Thursday, the Lancaster Guardian reported.
She first felt breathless, then developed severe stomach pain and was taken to Lancaster Royal Infirmary, where doctors diagnosed a perforated stomach.
Ms Scanlon was rushed to surgery where her stomach was removed in order to save her life.
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On Monday she was reported to be in a serious but stable condition.
A Lancashire police spokesman told the Guardian their investigation was still in its early stages and they were interviewing witnesses.
"The premises involved have fully cooperated with all agencies and have suspended drinks involving liquid nitrogen," they said.
|Barry Chalmers serves Kim Hibel and Missy Ruiz a martini made with liquid nitrogen|
at The Roosevelt, a bar in Sydney daring to use this ingredient. Picture: Rohan Kelly
The local BBC reported that the venue, Oscar's wine bar, sent their "heartfelt best wishes" to Ms Scanlon and her family "at this distressing time".
The Daily Mail reported that Oscar's had recently promoted a cocktail called the "Pornstar Martini", containing liquid nitrogen and champagne, for nine pounds ($14).
Ms Scanlon's stepfather, Ian Henshall, told the Daily Mail the family were hoping for a quick recovery. "We are just concentrating on her getting better," he said.
Ms Scanlon was apparently well enough to post on Twitter on Sunday, complaining that people were joking about her nearly dying, the Mail reported.
A local councillor, Paul Aitchison, told the Press Association he had also tried a liquid nitrogen drink at the bar called a "Nitro Jagermeister" - but without any ill effects.
Local director of public health Dr John Aston said Ms Scanlon was the victim of an "irresponsible alcohol industry that's now competing on gimmicks."
"(Bartenders) should not be playing chemistry," he said, calling for closer regulation of the drinks industry.
Several trendy bars in Australia have recently jumped on the liquid nitrogen cocktail trend, including The Roosevelt and The Zeta Bar in Sydney. The latter's website boasts that "guests can expect the unexpected with deconstructed vintage classics and drinks with edible components and liquid nitrogen infusions."
Nitrogen takes liquid form at 196 degrees below zero Centigrade. Thanks to the 'Liedenfrost Effect', people will survive brief contact with liquid nitrogen unscathed. But longer exposures will cause 'cryogenic burns' and kill unprotected flesh in the same way as frostbite.
Drinking liquid nitrogen is a party trick with occasionally devastating consequences, as the gas rapidly warms and expands in the stomach, causing it to burst. Drops of liquid nitrogen can also burn away the lining of the stomach.
People who have had their stomach removed can continue to live a normal life and eat and drink regular food, but they can only eat smaller portions and need to take vitamin supplements for nourishment.