LONDON — A teenager has had her stomach removed in life-saving emergency surgery after she drank a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen during a night out in northern England.
The 18-year-old, named in media reports as Gabby Scanlan, was rushed to hospital after she began feeling breathless and suffering severe stomach pain on consuming the drink at a bar in Lancaster on Thursday.
She was diagnosed with a perforated stomach and doctors performed emergency surgery to remove the organ, Lancashire Police said.
The girl, from Heysham, who was reportedly celebrating her birthday, remains in serious but stable condition.
Medics said if they had not removed the stomach, she would have died, a police spokesman stated.
The licensed premises where the girl purchased the drink stopped selling the trendy cocktails as police launched an investigation into the incident.
The use of liquid nitrogen in the kitchen has been popularised by the likes of TV chef Heston Blumenthal.
The chemical, capable of freezing alcohol, can be used to chill ingredients or glasses, and create an aesthetically pleasing smoky effect.
However it is not meant to be inhaled or ingested. If swallowed, it can cause severe cold burns and tissue damage.
A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said: "Medical opinion is that this would have proved fatal had the operation not been carried out urgently.
"The investigation is still in its early stages and we are still interviewing witnesses to establish the full facts.
"The premises involved have fully co-operated with all agencies and have suspended drinks involving liquid nitrogen."
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