A man has sadly died after reportedly downing 1.5 litres of Coca-Cola in 10 minutes during a heatwave, claim doctors in China.
After consuming the coke to cool down, the unnamed 22 year-old suffered severe stomach pains and swelling. He was taken to Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing.
The 22-year-old also suffered a rapid heartbeat and low blood pressure. He was also breathing fast.
The Clinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology journal reported that the man had suffered from pneumatosis. This is an abnormal buildup of gas in his intestines and portal veins.
They believe that this started to starve the supply of oxygen to his liver, causing hepatic ischemia (also known as ‘liver shock’) which resulted in his death.
Qiang He was the main author of the report. He stated that the doctor immediately tried to relieve the gas, and that he gave him medication. After 18 hours of treatment, he succumbed to his injuries.
A British expert, however, has challenged the Chinese doctors’ testimony and said that it was unlikely that the fizzy drinks were the cause of his death.
Professor Nathan Davies, a biochemist at University College London, told the Daily Mail: “The chances of downing 1.5 litres, or a little over three pints, of a regular soft drink being fatal would be very, very unlikely, I mean, staggeringly unlikely.
He said that more information would be needed to make any firm conclusions, but speculated that a bacterial infection may have been at fault.
“Usually this type of condition is caused because you have bacteria that has made its way from the normal gastrointestinal tract to somewhere they are not supposed to be, in this case, in the lining of the small intestine,” he explained.
“It’s possible, but not necessary that likely, that drinking a large amount of carbonated drink could have had an exacerbating affect.”
“But with no underlying condition it is very hard to see what could have happened.”
Professor Davies also added that gas in the portal vein does not explain why the man’s liver was starved of oxygen.
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