Australian Doctors Use Vodka IV Drip to Save Poisoned Tourist's Life

Australian doctors credit vodka for saving the life of an Italian tourist who had ingested a large amount of the poisonous substance ethylene glycol, found in antifreeze, which can cause renal failure and is often fatal, French news agency, AFP reports.

The 24-year-old man was brought to Mackay Base Hospital in north Queensland, Australia two months ago. Dr Pascal Gelperowicz, who led the man's treatment with Dr Todd Fraser, said the man was unconscious when he arrived and was treated immediately with pharmaceutical-grade alcohol, which works as an antidote to the poison.

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The hospital's alcohol supplies were soon exhausted, however, so they purchased a case of vodka to help finish the job. "We ... decided the next best way to get alcohol into the man's system was by feeding him spirits through a naso-gastric tube," Gelperowicz said.

The man was fed about three standard drinks an hour for three days while in intensive care. The patient having now made a full recovery.