Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Hospital Gives Man Drip-Feed of Vodka
By Associated Press
5 hours ago
BRISBANE, Australia - Doctors plugged an Italian tourist into a drip-feed of vodka to save him at a hospital in Australia that ran out of the medicinal alcohol it would normally have used for treatment.
The 24-year-old Italian, who was not further identified, was brought to Mackay Base Hospital in northeastern Queesland state and was diagnosed as having ingested a large quantity of ethylene glycol, a common ingredient of antifreeze that can cause renal failure.
Pure alcohol is often given in treating such cases because it can inhibit the toxic effects of ethylene glycol.
Mackay Base Hospital Dr. Pascal Gelperowicz said the man was given pharmaceutical-grade alcohol when he arrived, but that the hospital's supplies soon ran out.
"We quickly used all the available vials of 100 per cent alcohol and decided the next best way to get alcohol into the man's system was by feeding him spirits through a naso gastric tube," Dr. Gelperowicz said in a statement.
"The patient was drip-fed about three standard drinks an hour for three days in the intensive care unit," he said. "The hospital's administrators were also very understanding when we explained our reasons for buying a case of vodka."
The patient, was believed to have ingested the poison in an attempt at self-harm, made a successful recover. The incident occurred about two months ago, though the hospital just released information on the case.