A teen who was dared to drink a bottle of soy sauce managed to quaff a full quart of the salty brown liquid before slipping into a coma.
The incident, described in detail in the latest issue of The Journal of Emergency Medicine, reportedly took place back in 2011.
The unidentified 19-year-old was pledging Zeta Psi at the University of Virginia, and was ordered to drink the soy sauce as part of the frat’s initiation.
Court docu*ents from the time stated that the pledge started convulsing and foaming at the mouth after consuming the soy sauce, and was rushed to the hospital by a frat member.
In the journal article, attending emergency medicine physician Dr. David J. Carlberg of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C. attributes the student’s subsequent coma to a condition known as hypernatremia — or too much salt in the blood.
Tia Ghose of LiveScience explains:
Hypernatremia is dangerous because it causes the brain to lose water. When there is too much salt in the bloodstream, water moves out of the body tissues and into the blood by the process of osmosis, to try to equalize the salt concentration between the two. As water the leaves the brain, the organ can shrink and bleed.
Doctors were happily able to revive the young man after pumping him full of sugar water in order to flush out the salt according to Gawker.
It took three days, but he eventually came to on his own. Dr. Carlberg notes that his patient is the first person known to have “deliberately overdosed on such a high amount of salt and survived with no lasting neurological problems.”
As for UVA’s Zeta Psi house, it was ordered to shut down a few months after the incident, but has recently reopened and is set to welcome 14 new pledges.