Teenager has stomach removed after drinking liquid nitrogen cocktail

A cocktail containing liquid nitrogen
A cocktail containing liquid nitrogen Photo: ITV Granada

An 18-year-old woman has had her stomach removed after drinking a cocktail made with liquid nitrogen.

Gaby Scanlon had been out celebrating her 18th birthday on Thursday evening with friends when she drank the cocktail at Oscars wine bar in Lancaster.

She reported feeling breathless before developing severe stomach pain and was rushed to Lancaster Royal Infirmary hospital.

ITV News North of England Correspondent Martin Geissler reports:

Doctors performed emergency surgery to remove a section of her stomach in order to save her life. She is now recovering in hospital, and appears to be well enough to send a tweet from her bed.

A Lancashire police spokesman said the force was working with the bar to establish what happened:

The investigation is still in its early stages and we are still interviewing witnesses to establish the full facts.

The premises involved have fully cooperated with all agencies and have suspended drinks involving liquid nitrogen.

In a statement to ITV Granada, the management of the bar where Miss Scanlon was served the cocktail said they were "tremendously concerned" for the teenager and that their best wishes go to her and her family.

Liquid nitrogen has become popular in recent years as a method for making increasingly elaborate cocktails.

The liquid version of the gas can also be used to flash-freeze food and has a series of medical uses. In cooking liquid nitrogen is used as a coolant. It is not an ingredient and so it is never ingested; it cools the food, then evaporates. Ingesting liquid nitrogen can cause serious cold burns.

Dr John Carr from the University of Cambridge says liquid nitrogen is very dangerous and should never be ingested.