Liquid Nitrogen In Drink Results in Stomach Being Removed To Save Teenage Girl

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.

Source: Telegraph

32 thoughts on “Liquid Nitrogen In Drink Results in Stomach Being Removed To Save Teenage Girl”

  1. Reblogged this on euzicasa and commented:
    If you have a stomach for it: Why do so many youngsters that life’s pure experiment, in which they are NOT involved directly?

  2. I am betting she wasn’t thinking and in drinking two in quick succession the ice crystals in the drink were so small as to be nearly unnoticable, and because of the liquid nitrogens temp, they were actually much ‘harder’ than normal and the crystals just shredded her internals before they could melt.

    I wonder if this causes nitrogen narcosis, thus adding the ‘drunk feeling’.

  3. I agree with Gary T and Malisha.

    There is no “food grade” liquid nitrogen. It’s all the same composition and at the same temperature. I also don’t see how liquid nitrogen could be poured into a mixture of water and alcohol, and remain liquid nitrogen.

    The heat capacity of water or alcohol is so much greater than that of liquid nitrogen, that there would very quickly be no liquid nitrogen left. There could certainly be water or alcohol ice.

    If you drank liquid nitrogen from a thermos, it would just burn your lips, tongue and mouth very badly. I don’t see how it could ever reach your stomach.
    Is it possible she swallowed dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide)? Even that seems unlikely.

  4. Gary T 1, October 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Yeah, about the guy dying who ate cockroaches.
    Roaches are edible, as well as all of the other icky things he ate.
    He died for things unrelated to eating roaches and the like.
    But because they happen in concert with each other – blame the roaches.

    If he died from bad beef, well wouldn’t be as interesting now, would it?
    ==============================================
    Well said Gary.

  5. This event reportedly happened in Lancaster, England. (Someone wondered where it was earlier)

    I would imagine the liability would lie with the restaurant serving this to her. I don’t know English tort law but it seems to me there would be an expectation of safety of the food and drink served by a licensed establishment and as Professor Turley explained it should be expected a bar patron might down two drinks in rapid succession.

    This is not a case of contributory negligence in my view, as would be certainly the case in the legal sense if this was done at home.

  6. Yeah, about the guy dying who ate cockroaches.
    Roaches are edible, as well as all of the other icky things he ate.
    He died for things unrelated to eating roaches and the like.
    But because they happen in concert with each other – blame the roaches.

    If he died from bad beef, well wouldn’t be as interesting now, would it?

  7. I frankly don’t believe it was liquid nitrogen. Not — as we say — “doable.”

    About eating the cockroaches, though — they put the prize (PYTHON) aside for the estate? Imagine being that guy’s executor!

  8. This may be a true story, but really has the feel of some urban legend, or not all of the facts are being relayed.
    Liquid nitrogen in a drink? Jagermeister? If liquid nitrogen was ‘mixed’ with anything like water or alcohol, it would fizz and bubble furiously and probably foam completely out of the glass.
    Secondly, if even some of was still left in the glass, there would large chunks of water and alcohol ice, and finally even if it were still fluid enough, the pain upon bringing it to one’s lips and mouth would be excruciating.

    And the article says that the bar keeps it on hand to chill glasses? How do they do that in any practical sense? it requires a vacuum thermos to hold it for any short amount of time; and the deliveries? from where? and the cost?

    Jeesh so many things wrong here.

    The closest thing I know about involving nitrogen in drinks, is the use of nitrous oxide as a ‘carbonation’ agent – basically the bubbles without the pain.

  9. As a regular user of liquid nitrogen this seems so radically dangerous I am left dumbfounded….

  10. Arsenic has a valid purpose in the body….. But it can kill if used in the wrong way….. I wonder why she felt the need to drink nitrogen…..

  11. A license should be required to serve lutefisk. And, the test should be very difficult.

  12. I’m guessing this was not in the usa, where the legal drinking age is 21. And nitrogen is illegal in any food product, by vague federal law. Even though everything we eat and breath contains nitrogen. It’s the particular form of liquid nitrogen used that is crucial. If it’s not food grade, it’s toxic. If not served properly, it is still -200*f and will freeze anything it touches. Yes the bartender who served this drink was irresponsible and negligently put someone else at risk because of his/her lack of experience and lapse in judgement. It is not sopposed to be IN the drink….but is meant to frost the glass used to drink from… It would be considered negligent homicide. If she died in the US. Only prompt care is the fine line that saved her. Now he is responsible for attempted negligent homicide…This girl should not be left to fend for herself…the bar should take full responsibility for her current bills and all follow up care. And expect said bartended to make himself/herself available to whatever she neeeds, Or face the jail time. Or be open to be sued. Where all assets of the bar would be seized. I’m not sure if the stomach can be replaced either. But i hope so. I don’t see much chance of survival without it. You can only live but so long on IV fluids alone…

  13. Many new fads push the edge. This one is dangerous and should have a very short life.

  14. The Daily Telegraph quoted experts on frozen gases and food safety, and of course the verdict is this is a very stupid thing to do. The health practitioners who pick up the pieces were absolutely livid about the sheer irresponsibility of offering such drinks for immediate consumption. This young woman is going to have to learn how to cope with a greatly reduced digestive tract for the rest of her life, if she survives.

  15. “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.”

    Freezing glasses is one thing but consumption is another. If served absent the specialize training required (to continue the fugu analogy) should be considered per se negligent. In Japan, serving fugu requires years of training for the preparer and a license to serve it. They take it very seriously. The licensing test is very tough (something like a 40% pass rate). Of the 70 or so fugu poisonings that happen on average each year in Japan, only about 10% of them are fatal and almost all of them (practically without exception) happen at unlicensed restaurants. And that’s for a toxin with no antidote mind you.

    Personally, I think this is one of the stupidest practices I’ve ever heard of . . . and I’ve had fugu.

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