We've all heard a yarn about someone who got a bit too boozed and needed a stomach pump - but did you know it's possible to sink so much alcohol that your body will require more booze to keep you from dying?
This is no stitch-up, turns out this exact medical procedure was used successfully to keep one man alive. 48-year-old Nguyen Van Nhat ended up unconscious in a Vietnamese hospital where he was pumped with 15 cans of beer in order to save his life.
Well, it turns out the level of methanol in Mr Nhat's blood was 1,119 times higher than normal - that must have been quite some piss up.
Nhat fell unconscious when methanol in his system oxidised to formaldehyde – a highly toxic chemical compound that can be deadly – which then produced formic acid. To stop this from happening, a few beers were needed.
Doctors transfused three cans of beer (approximately 1 litre) to dilute the amount of menthol in his system and thus, flowing through his liver. One can was then given to Nhat ever hour, and 15 cans later he was reportedly conscious again.
Dr. Le Van Lam, head of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, explained that alcohol comes in two variants - methanol and ethanol - and the liver prioritises breaking down ethanol.
Because beer contains ethanol, administering a few wet ones to methanol-poisoned Nhat gave his liver time to slow down its processing of methanol, and medics more time to treat him.
"The therapy with 15 cans of beer is rather unusual, but well understood. Maybe the Vietnamese colleagues had no other alcohol on hand," said Medical Professor, Hans-Jörg Busch.
"Much more important (than the kind of alcohol used) is that the therapy is immediately initiated."
Please, please, please - don't try this at home.