Doctors have removed a teen's stomach after a liquid-nitrogen cocktail ruptured it. The cocktail actually exploded inside of Gaby Scanlan when she drank it at her 18th birthday party. Basically she's lucky to be alive. Liquid-nitrogen cocktails -- did you even know this was a thing?
Seriously, though, this is scary stuff. The cocktail is one of those crazy-fun treats that become trendy before people realize how dangerous they can be. (See also: 4 Loko.) Here's the 411 on this ill-advised cocktail -- why it's being used for drinks and what kind of damage it can do to you.
Liquid nitrogen is a super-cold substance, minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be used to flash-freeze fruit. And lately cutting-edge chefs have been using it to turn herbs into powder and other zany culinary tricks.
I guess it was just a matter of time before mixologists got into the game. Liquid nitrogen can be used to keep a glass frosty and cause a mysterious mist to float out, kind of like dry ice does -- just in time for Halloween! They call it a Porn Star Martini. But what it can do to your body is a little too spooky.
Liquid nitrogen can cause permanent frostbite. It kills tissue instantly -- and if you're swallowing it the damage can happen anywhere from your mouth to your intestines. Apparently there's a "right" way to use liquid nitrogen in cocktails... but it still makes doctors nervous.
New York City ER physician Dr. Robert Glatter says it's just too dangerous to risk. As if the burns weren't damaging enough, even the process of warming to gas is horrifically dangerous. "Liquid nitrogen basically causes pressure to build up as it turns into a gas and can lead to perforation. ...Ultimately it can be deadly." Ugh, I think I'll let this trend pass me by.
Had you heard of liquid-nitrogen cocktails before?
Image via ABC News