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Teen's stomach removed after liquid nitrogen cocktail

A birthday drink took a teen close to death.

A wine bar in the UK was fined  £100,000 (S$ 217,949) after a teenager drank a liquid nitrogen cocktail.

It caused such severe internal damage that she needed to have her stomach removed.

Gaby Scanlon, now 20, was celebrating her 18th birthday in Oct 2012 with friends at  Oscar's Wine Bar and Bistro in Lancashire.

She was given a Nitro-Jagermeister shot on the house, reports BBC.

She had asked the bartender if the smoking drink was safe and assured that it was. 

After drinking the shot, Ms Scanlon described her panic as "smoke" started to come out from her nose and mouth.

The court heard that the shot left her close to death and put her in hospital for three weeks.

A scan found a large hole in her stomach.

Ms Scanlon had to undergo surgery to remove her stomach and connect her esophagus directly to her small bowel.

Gaby Scanlon had her stomach removed two weeks after drinking a liquid nitrogen cocktail. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

Ms Scanlon still suffers from "episodes of agonising pain" and has to avoid some foods. She is unable to enjoy eating.

Oscar's Wine Bar Ltd pleaded guilty to one count of failing in the duty of an employer to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment.

The idea had come after after Oscar's director had seen a similar type of cocktail while on a trip to London. He found them "alluring" and was "intrigued by the dramatic effect".

When a senior health and safety officer visited Oscar's in May 2012, he had concerns about the drink and sent a letter with guidance on liquid nitrogen usage. There was no response from the bar's management.

Liquid nitrogen is usually mixed in cocktails to give a smoky, bubbling effect.

While such drinks are not illegal, physicists say the liquid nitrogen must completely evaporate before the drink is safe for consumption.

The freezing effects of liquid nitrogen are so extreme that they can cause steel to shatter.

Its consumption is potentially fatal as the extremely low temperature can be extremely damaging to body tissue and cause severe internal damage if ingested.

According to the Telegraph, Doug Thornton, the chief executive of the British Compressed Gases Association, was appalled by the trend for television chefs and bars to use chemicals designed for large-scale industrial production.

“I saw it being used on the television the other day to make ice cream, and I just thought: 'Why are they being so stupid?’ Celebrity chefs and barmen need to stop portraying liquid nitrogen as a good thing to use. It is not. It is stupid. You have to be very highly trained to handle it."

Sources: BBC, the Telegraph

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