Whiskey saves a man from blindness after vodka blackout | Healthquest | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.


Jun 02nd
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Whiskey saves a man from blindness after vodka blackout

HOTtopic041212_optBY PAM LOBLEY

Denis Duthie, a professor living in New Zealand, was given a bottle of vodka by his students. He had a few drinks from the bottle during a celebration of his parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. When he went home and entered his bedroom, everything went black.

Oh well, who hasn’t had that happen?

"I thought it had got dark and I'd missed out on a bit of time but it was only about half-past-three in the afternoon. I was fumbling around the bedroom for the light switch but ... I'd just gone completely blind,” said Mr. Duthie in an article in the New Zealand Herald.

The next morning he still couldn’t see, so he went to the hospital. The doctor took him in for surgery immediately, and, fearing the worst, told his wife to say goodbye. When the incision was made, the doctor said he smelled nail polish remover. He later asked Mr. Duthie if he had been drinking nail polish remover.

Mr. Duthie said no. I’ve never heard of a nail polish remover cocktail, but I’ve had some vodka that could take paint off the wall.

Mr. Duthie was suffering from formaldehyde poisoning, which can cause blindness. The poisoning was caused by methanol, which was created in his system when the vodka reacted with his diabetes medication. Perhaps the vodka given him by his students was not the best grade, if you get my meaning.

Methanol poisoning is treated with ethanol. There wasn’t enough medical ethanol available in the hospital, but ethanol is found in alcoholic beverages also. So they ran down to the liquor store and got a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black. I guess this guy has good medical insurance, otherwise they would have had to give him Old Grandad.

They dripped the whisky directly into his stomach, and when Mr. Duthie woke up five days later (that’s what I call a bender!) he could see again.

The ethanol prevents the methanol from being metabolized into formaldehyde. Mr. Duthie says he feels as good as gold.

He doesn’t even have a hangover.

Pam Lobley writes the “Now That’s Funny” column. Check out her blog: Better Living Through Chaos! Follow her on twitter @plobley.


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