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Cocktail leads to removal of teenager's stomach

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We are all aware of the well-publicised risks of leaving drinks unattended in bars and nightclubs for fear of being ‘spiked’ with illegal or prescription-only drugs, such as Rohypnol. However, a recent worrying incident suggests that we also ought to be concerned about the chemicals being added to our drinks prior to them being served.

On Thursday 4th October 2012, Gaby Scanlon, who was out in Lancaster celebrating her 18th birthday, purchased a cocktail. Unbeknown to her, the cocktail contained liquid nitrogen.

Shortly after drinking the cocktail, she became breathless and developed severe stomach pain. She was rushed to hospital later that evening where she was diagnosed with a perforated stomach. Doctors had no option but to perform emergency surgery to remove her stomach in order to save her life, which will no doubt have a devastating effect on her lifestyle from now on.

Liquid nitrogen is used in drinks to create a cloud of vapour and is, therefore, predominantly used for aesthetic effect. However, it should never be inhaled or swallowed as it can freeze parts of the mouth, throat or stomach, causing severe cold burns. It can also boil inside the stomach, as appears to have happened here, creating a large amount of vapour which can lead to perforation.

Fortunately, Miss Scanlon is now in a stable condition. However, her life has been permanently altered as a result of the consumption of this dangerous chemical.

If you have suffered and injury in a bar or nightclub, which you do not believe is your fault, we at Stephensons have a specialist team who are willing and able to help. Call us today on 01616 966 229 to discuss the merits of your case.

By personal injury solicitor, Danielle O'Neill