Lancashire Police report that Gaby Scanlon was celebrating with her friends last Thursday when the incident happened.
According to witnesses, the girl became short of breath and developed severe stomach pain before being taken from Oscar’s wine bar to hospital to Royal Lancaster Infirmary where she was “diagnosed with a perforated stomach.”
The operation was held immediately, and Scanlon’s stomach was removed. The situation could have become fatal had surgeons not performed the total gastrectomy. You can get info today about such rare disease here.
As BBC reports, police have already set down to an investigation into the circumstances of how the 18-year-old was given the drink. When added to alcohol, liquid nitrogen makes the drink appear surrounded by a cloud of white or grey vapour.
A police statement said: “The premises involved have fully co-operated with all agencies and have suspended drinks involving liquid nitrogen.”
“The investigation is still in its early stages and we are still interviewing witnesses to establish the full facts.”
Lancashire Police have not officially named the place where the girl had drunk ill-fated cocktail, but say Oscar’s has stopped selling it. The wine bar sends their “heartfelt best wishes” to Gaby Scanlon and her family “at this distressing time”.
Last month, the bar posted a photograph on its Facebook page of a cocktail which contained liquid nitrogen. It was sold for £8.95, containing champagne, The Guardian says.
Police officers had been warning other bars in the town about what had happened.
Doctor John Ashton, director of public health for Cumbria, said: “This girl is the victim of an irresponsible alcohol industry that’s now competing on gimmicks.”
“Alcohol itself is a very dangerous thing if improperly handled and liquid nitrogen is a toxic chemical. It destroys human tissue,” he added.
Peter Barham, of the University of Bristol’s School of Physics, stressed the importance of ensuring proper safety measures when liquid nitrogen is added in food and drinks.
The temperature of the substance is around -196C and if it is not used properly it can cause “frostbite or cryogenic burns”, he warned.
“As with any very hot or very cold liquid proper safety measures must be taken,” he said. “Just as no-one would drink boiling water or oil or pour it over themselves, so no-one should ingest liquid nitrogen.”
Barham went on, adding: “Liquid nitrogen can be used safely in the preparation of foods. However, since it is not safe to ingest liquid nitrogen due care must be taken to ensure that the liquid has all evaporated before serving any food or drink that was prepared with liquid nitrogen.”
The teenager, who studied at Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy, was reported to be in a serious but stable condition afterwards.
The school officials said they had alerted all its pupils to the dangers of drinks such as the one the girl drank.
Liz Nicholls, her head teacher, said “Gaby is one of our most hardworking and mature students who had simply gone out for a quiet birthday celebration. Our whole school community is shocked and upset at what has happened.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Gaby, her family and her friends, who are obviously upset and distressed. We are pleased to hear that she is making better than expected progress.”