A teenager on a night out in Lancaster, UK required a life-saving operation to have her stomach removed after drinking a cocktail which contained liquid nitrogen at a local night spot popular with teenagers.
The 18 year old woman was named as Gabby Scanlan, reports Yahoo News. During a night out drinking with friends last Thursday, she experienced breathlessness and severe stomach pains after drinking a ‘smoking cocktail’ which contained liquid nitrogen.
Gabby was rushed to nearby Lancaster Royal Infirmary later in the evening where doctors diagnosed a perforated stomach and had no option but to remove the body part, according to Lancashire Police. The girl remains hospitalised and is reported to be in a serious but stable condition, the police force said, reports the Lancashire Evening Post.
Lancashire Police immediately launched an investigation into the incident, reports The Mirror newspaper. According to doctors, the nitrogen cocktail would have proved fatal if the teenager had not immediately been operated upon. A police spokesman said,”We are interviewing witnesses to establish the full facts. The premises involved have suspended drinks involving liquid nitrogen.”
According to the report, the drink was sold at Oscars Wine Bar and Bistro. The bar said they could not comment due to the ongoing police investigation. They did say, however, “We are tremendously concerned for the person involved and our heartfelt, best wishes go out to them and their family at this distressing time.”
Cocktails containing liquid nitrogen first hit the US bar scene about six years ago as part of what was then the latest fad to dispense more unusual and exciting drinks. Inevitably, they have found their way across the Atlantic to pubs and night-clubs in the UK.
Drinks laced with liquid nitrogen give off wisps of ‘smoke’ as the nitrogen evaporates whilst alcohol in the drink freezes as a ‘slushy’.
Liquid nitrogen is used in various industrial processes, for example, to make ice cream, as a food preservative and as a coolant in the computer industry.
Liquid nitrogen is the gas nitrogen (the main constituent of the air we breathe) in a liquid state. For nitrogen to be liquid, it has to be maintained at an extremely low temperature. The boiling point of liquid nitrogen the point where the liquid becomes a gas is (minus) −196 °C (−321 °F). On contact with living tissue, liquid nitrogen causes rapid freezing and is often used for the cryogenic freezing of laboratory specimens.