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Teen falls into a coma after drinking soy sauce in game of dare

By Mason White 5:23 AM June 11, 2013
Soy sauce bottles illustration 

By: Eva Fett
A teen nearly died after drinking soy sauce from a bottle, according to hospital officials in Virginia.

The young man drank a bottle of soy sauce, fell into a coma and almost died, after his body was flooded with salt.

The 19-year-old, drank the soy sauce after being dared by friends, and is the first person known to have deliberately overdoses on salt, only to survive without lasting neurological problems, according to Virginia physicians who reported the case. The case report was published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Excess salt in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia, usually seen in people with psychiatric illnesses who develop a strong appetite for seasonings, Dr. David J. Carlberg, who treated the young man and works as an emergency medicine physician at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., said.

After the man drank the soy sauce, he began having seizures and spasms, and friends took him to an emergency room. That hospital administered anti-seizure medications, and he was already in a coma when he was taken to the hospital.
“He did not respond to any of the stimuli we gave him,” the doctor said.

The doctors immediately began washing the salt out of his system by administration of a water solution and sugar dextrose through a nasal tube. After half an hour, doctors pumped 1.5 gallons of water with sugar into the body of man.
The sodium levels of the man returned to normal after about five hours. He remained in a coma for three days, but woke up on his own.

For days after, a part of his brain called the hippocampus showed residual effects of seizures. However, a month after the fact, he did not show any signs of the overdose. He was back in college, and doing well on tests, doctors said.