Doctors use five liters of beer to save toxic-alcohol poisoned patient

Doctors of the General Hospital in the north-central province of Quang Tri have fed a toxic-alcohol poisoned patient fifteen cans of beer equivalent to five liters in a bid to save his life.

Doctors use five liters of beer to save toxic-alcohol poisoned patient

Lucky man Nguyen Van Nhat, 48 years old, was yesterday discharged from the hospital, said the hospital.
Head of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit Dr. Le Van Lam said that Nhat was taken to the hospital on December 25, 2018 in critical condition because he already passed out.
Doctors immediately took blood samples from Nhat for testing finding that the level of methanol in his blood was 1,119 times higher than the allowable limit. To save him, three cans of beer (equivalent to one liter of beer) were immediately administered to the patient to slow down his liver’s processing of methanol, Lam said.
It took 15 cans of beer administered at a rate of one can per hour before Nhat was totally conscious.
Even when you're unconscious or you've stopped drinking, alcohol continues to be released from your stomach and intestines into your bloodstream, and the level of alcohol in your body continues to rise.
Dr. Lam explained that there are two variants of alcohol - ethanol and methanol. The human liver prioritizes breaking down ethanol over methanol, Lam said. Alcohol dehydrogenase oxidizes methanol to formaldehyde, and aldehyde dehydrogenase subsequently oxidizes formaldehyde to formic acid, which made the man unconscious.
Meanwhile, ethanol does not lead to serious poisoning when it is broken down by the liver.
To stop oxidizing formaldehyde to formic acid, administering beer into a methanol-poisoned patient actually helps stop the liver from breaking down methanol, giving doctors enough time to perform dialysis and remove alcohol from the patient’s system, Dr. Lam explained.
Meanwhile the Department of Food Safety in Quang Tri said that four men were poisoned after a party in Dong Giam church on December 23, 2018. They were all rushed to hospitals but one of them died later.
Test results have shown that methanol level in his blood is so high exceeding the allowable limit.
Head of the department Ho Sy Bien said that his staff seized all liquor in two businesses which provided beverage for the party. Moreover, it proposed the provincial Department of Industry and trade and local administrations to enhance supervision and check alcohol products as well as impose harsh penalties on illegal businesses.

By VAN THANG - Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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