The Haryana government on Friday banned mixing of liquid nitrogen in drinks and food, according to news agency PTI, days after a Delhi man burnt a hole in his stomach after drinking a cocktail containing the chemical. On April 13, the 30-year-old man had gulped some liquid nitrogen to get high in a Gurgaon pub that led to extreme pain, abdomen swelling and breathlessness. He was rushed to Columbia Asia Hospital where doctors had to operate upon him. While the man survived, the incident made people wary of indulging in such cocktails.
The man was trying out the new cocktail with white smoke flowing from it that is now served in fancy pubs and bars. He did not realise that the drink was supposed to be had after the ‘smoke’ dissipates, and downed it in one draught.
Liquid nitrogen is a colourless liquid having a boiling point of -195.8 degree Celsius and is used to instantly freeze food and drinks. It is also used to cool computers and in cryogenic medical procedures like removing warts and cancerous tissues by freezing them.
According to doctors, the man’s abdomen was “grossly distended” and a high level of lactic acid was found in his blood — a condition that results from oxygen deprivation.
Earlier, Dr Mriganka S Sharma, the co-surgeon in the case had said, “When liquid nitrogen turns to gas, it expands more than 500 times. If it is swallowed and gets into a person’s stomach, it could explode.”