Girl Needed Treatment After Drinking Liquid Nitrogen Cocktail
Leading injury lawyers have expressed concern over reports a teenager was forced to have emergency surgery to remove her stomach when she developed severe pain after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen.
Specialists at national law firm Irwin Mitchell are warning that businesses must take extra care when dealing with potentially harmful chemicals in public places.
Lancashire Police said Gaby Scanlon was celebrating her 18th birthday with friends in Lancaster last Thursday (4 October) when she is reported to have become breathless and developed severe stomach pain before being taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
It is believed that she would have died if doctors had not performed an emergency gastrectomy – a procedure that involved removing the stomach. People who have had the operation need to eat smaller portions and take vitamins but they are generally still be able to lead a normal life and eat and drink regular food.
The use of liquid nitrogen as a visual trick and to freeze ingredients has become more popular over the past few years. It is also used in medicine by doctors to freeze eggs during IVF treatment and to remove unwanted skin and warts.
If liquid nitrogen is swallowed it can cause cold burns to the mouth, throat and stomach. It can also create large pockets of air which can burst the stomach as the frozen vapour warms up quickly.
David Urpeth, an expert injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Experimental food and drink using ingredients such as liquid nitrogen is becoming more and more popular, but customer safety still needs to be the number one priority when preparing something like this.
“Bars and restaurants need to ensure that what they are selling and how it is handled is safe, there is a duty of care to protect their customers especially when using substances such as liquid nitrogen which can be very dangerous if not used correctly. What should have been an enjoyable night out celebrating her birthday has turned into a living nightmare for this poor young lady.”
Lancashire Police said in a statement that the bar involved had fully co-operated with their ongoing investigations and had stopped selling the drinks involving liquid nitrogen. They are now warning other bars in the town about the dangers.