Liquid nitrogen cocktails have become the rage in bars and parties. However, a teenage girl Gaby Scanlon has shown the dangers of the gas after her stomach was removed after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen.
Scanlon was celebrating her 18th birthday and ordered the drink at a wine bar. She reportedly drank two ‘Nitro Jagermeister’ cocktails in quick succession. This certainly does raise a question of plaintiffs’ conduct, but Scanlon had reason to assume that drinking two cocktails would be safe. She was not required to have a knowledge of the properties of liquid nitrogen or its use in drinks. It was reasonably foreseeable that a patron would drink cocktails in relatively quick succession at a bar.
She said that she felt breathless and then experienced stomach pains. The entire stomach had to be removed to save her life.
Some bars use liquid nitrogen to freeze glasses while other use it in actual drinks. The question is whether the use of liquid nitrogen is a per se negligent act given its dangers. If this is any measure of that danger, it would be hard to see how this is a reasonable use. However, it could claimed that this is the bar version of the Puffer fish in Japanese cuisine — inherently deadly but able to be served when prepared by someone with specialized training.
32 thoughts on “Liquid Nitrogen In Drink Results in Stomach Being Removed To Save Teenage Girl”
Yes! Finally something about nitric oxide.
Malisha, yes, it’s potentially very harmful. They’re not saying it isn’t!
Hey — it’s not uncommon and not illegal? Isn’t it a bit more harmful than 17-ounce sodas?
Woah! Weird and horrible!
Thanks for the great Roches song!
For people interested in what really happened, here is the official police announcement:
From the above:
“She was diagnosed with a perforated stomach and underwent emergency surgery to remove her stomach. She remains in a stable condition and is conscious.
“It appears that liquid nitrogen has been used to create a cauldron effect as part of a cocktail. This practice is not uncommon and not illegal.”
So they’re reporting the sudden illness and the gastrectomy as fact, and the apparent association with liquid nitrogen as circumstance.
Just for the record: The original article is in the U.K. Health News, Telegraph.
Mike 1, October 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm
Long story short, if you drink liquid nitrogen, your stomach will basically turn into a bomb. Here’s a video of what happens when you put liquid nitrogen in a sealed container.
Thanks for the video.
It proves the case.
I’m a materials scientist and not a food scientist, so take this with a grain of sodium chloride, but I use buckets of liquid nitrogen in the normal course of my research, so I’m relatively familiar with how it behaves in normal circumstances and how it might have behaved in vitro in this case.
When pouring from a dewar flask (the normal container you might carry it in) into a cup that’s at about room temperature, it boils off violently but relatively harmlessly until the cup cools and then you can pour an appreciable amount into a shot glass and it’ll sit there as a misting liquid for at least several minutes. It’s actually not terribly dangerous in the open – you can even hold some in your hand for a short time. If you contact it for too long, though, it does start to cause frostbite.
Swallowing the stuff is extremely dangerous, but perhaps not because of the reasons you might assume. Sure, it’s cold, and could cause ice burn along your digestive tract. But the more dangerous aspect of it is that when it warms up, it will transform from a liquid to a gas. And the key is that the gas will be many times the volume of the liquid. The article says the woman had a ruptured stomach. The LN likely evaporated in the enclosed space of her stomach and blew it up like a balloon, expanding it until it tore in one or more places. After that, the now gaseous nitrogen would expand around her body cavity and probably cause the breathlessness she reported, and her stomach acid would escape her stomach and start damaging the nearby organs. Maybe a medical doctor could be more explanatory on what problems that might cause, but I’d imagine that’s why they had to remove part or all of her stomach.
Long story short, if you drink liquid nitrogen, your stomach will basically turn into a bomb. Here’s a video of what happens when you put liquid nitrogen in a sealed container. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfiR1Rde7dI
Reblogged this on MINDFUL CONSUMPTION and commented:
A really, really good example of the need to be mindful of what we put into our bodies. Sad story … a warning too!
Horrible. Am reblogging.
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