Man Has 15 Cans Of Beer Pumped Into His Stomach To Save His Life

You might have a story about a mate who once went on an epic all-night bender and ended up having to have their stomach pumped.

However, you almost certainly won't have a tale about a mate who drank so much that they had to have booze pumped into their body.

This is exactly what happened to one man when he was admitted to hospital in Vietnam with alcohol poisoning and doctors had to transfuse five litres of beer straight into his stomach to save his life.

In order to stop him from dying and prevent his liver from processing high levels of methanol from the drink, specialists immediately administered three cans of beer, upon arrival.

From then on, one can of beer was given to the patient, Nguyen Van Nhat, every hour until a total of 15 cans had been emptied and he managed to regain consciousness.

The patient had to have beer pumped into his stomach in order to save his life. Credit: AsiaWire
The patient had to have beer pumped into his stomach in order to save his life. Credit: AsiaWire

Head of the hospital's intensive care unit, Dr. Le Van Lam, revealed that the levels of methanol in Nhat's blood was 1,119 times higher than the average limit.

The doctor explained that when a person drinks alcohol their body continues to release it into their bloodstream long after they stop drinking, and even when they are unconscious, alcohol levels continue to rise.

The specialist said booze comes in two forms, methanol and ethanol, but the human liver breaks down ethanol first.

According to reports, the man lost consciousness when the methanol in his body oxidised to create formaldehyde, which in turn leads to the formation of formic acid.

Doctors gave the patient three cans of beer as soon as he was admitted to hospital. Credit: PA
Doctors gave the patient three cans of beer as soon as he was admitted to hospital. Credit: PA

Pumping more than a dozen litres of beer into the patient's stomach gave doctors time to perform dialysis and stop formaldehyde becoming formic acid.

Emergency physician Hans-Jörg Busch, from the University hospital of Freiburg, told the German press Agency dpa that it was an 'unusual' way of treating someone but the theory is well-known.

He said: "The therapy with 15 cans of beer is rather unusual, but well understood. May be the Vietnamese colleagues had no other alcohol on hand.

"Much more important (than the kind of alcohol used) is that the therapy is immediately initiated."

In recent years, January has become the month where many of us cut down on our booze consumption, going cold turkey on the stuff as part of Dry January.

However, some experts have warned that taking an 'all or nothing' approach could actually do more harm than good - it seems taking 31 days out of your (normally) boozy calendar means that you could be more likely to give yourself permission to drink as much as you like when February rolls around.

Men's Health reports that the Royal College of Physicians recommend three alcohol-free days a week instead, while the British Liver Trust suggests at least two consecutive booze-free days a week to maintain a healthy liver.

Featured Image Credit: AsiaWire

Dominic Smithers

After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in French and History, Dom went onto gain an NCTJ journalism qualification. Since then he has worked as a reporter at the Manchester Evening News and the Macclesfield Express, covering breaking news, court, sports, and politics.

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