The 24-year-old man was taken to a north Queensland hospital two months ago after he swallowed a large amount of a potentially-fatal substance found in antifreeze in an apparent suicide attempt. Doctors at Mackay Base Hospital decided that the best method of saving the unconscious man's life was to reverse the effect of the poison, ethylene glycol, by giving him pharmaceutical-grade alcohol.
In details released by the hospital, Dr Pascal Gelperowicz, who led the man's treatment with Dr Todd Fraser, said that once the hospital's alcohol supplies ran out doctors sent out for a case of vodka and the unusual drip was set up.
"We quickly used all the available vials of 100 per cent alcohol and decided the next best way to get alcohol into the man's system was by feeding him spirits through a naso-gastric tube," News.com.au quoted Dr Gelperowicz, as saying.
Dr. Fraser said the patient was given about three standard drinks an hour for three days in the intensive care unit.
"The patient was drip-fed about three standard drinks an hour for three days in the intensive care unit," Dr. Fraser said.
"The hospital's administrators were also very understanding when we explained our reasons for buying a case of vodka,” he added