A Drink Can Be Too Cool: The Lethal Liquid Nitrogen Cocktail

Cocktails can be ultra-chilling. This medical report provides evidence to that effect:

A lethal cocktail: gastric perforation following liquid nitrogen ingestion,” James Scott Pollard, Joanne Elizabeth Simpson, Moatasiem Idris Bukhari, BMJ Case Reports, 2013;10.1136/bcr-2012-007769. The authors, at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary [pictured below], Lancaster, UK, write:

“We report a case of gastric perforation in an 18-year-old girl as a result of ingesting an alcoholic drink containing liquid nitrogen. The drink was purchased in licensed premises. The extent of the injury necessitated total gastrectomy with Roux-en Y reconstruction…. The authors believe this case is of educational interest to professionals working in emergency medicine, general surgery and public health fields. It raises awareness of a rare injury, but one that may be more commonly encountered because of developing social trends. It informs surgeons confronted with this type of injury that trauma to the gastrointestinal tract can be extensive and preoperative contact with oesophago-gastric colleagues is advisable. Public health bodies must be aware of, and monitor, the use of liquid nitrogen in this way and consider regulation to prevent further injuries.”


BONUS: “Liquid Nitrogen Cocktails: Smoking Hot Trend Or Unnecessary Risk?” [NPR]