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Doctors use vodka drip to save dying man

world Updated: Jun 07, 2012 17:17 IST

Australian doctors in a far-north Queensland hospital saved the life of an Italian tourist by putting him on a drip-feed of vodka to flush out the poison he had drunk in a suicide attempt, local media reported Wednesday.

"The patient was drip-fed about three standard drinks an hour for three days in the intensive care unit," physician Todd Fraser said Tuesday. "The hospital's administrators were also very understanding when we explained our reasons for buying a case of vodka."

Fraser told Australia's AAP news agency that the 24-year-old was brought to Mackay Base Hospital after drinking antifreeze, a chemical compound that can cause renal failure and is often fatal.

He was administered pharmaceutical-grade alcohol as an antidote to the poison. Supplies soon ran out and had to be topped up from the local shop. The Italian made a full recovery.