A married Kazakh couple is undergoing dialysis at a hospital in Vietnam while one of their friends has died after they drank beer intentionally laced with strong methanol.
The couple was admitted to the General Hospital of Khanh Hoa Province, located in the south-central region, on Tuesday, Dr. Nguyen Luong Ky, chief of the ICU ward at the institution, said on Wednesday.
They suffer methanol poisoning so dialysis is now used to treat them, Dr. Ky said.
The wife was drowsy, suffered serious respiratory failure, and had a blurred vision upon hospitalization.
Her husband had been able to take her to the hospital for emergency care but his condition turned as critical as hers on Wednesday.
The couple had gone fishing with two friends, bringing beer with them for partying.
They found the beer relatively light so they spiked it with 90% methanol to make the alcoholic beverage stronger.
One of the friends died while the couple was hospitalized after drinking the adulterated beer.
The couple is still in a serious condition despite their improvement following intubation, mechanical ventilation, and dialysis.
“We cannot give them an absolute prognosis at the moment,” Dr. Ky admitted.
The ICU ward says that 90% methanol is used for industrial purposes and is highly toxic.
Consuming a small amount of the methanol can cause blindness, brain damage, or organ failure, with death possible in more serious poisoning.
Experts advise people against drinking methanol or alcoholic beverages laced with it.
“Methanol poisoning is at alarming levels in Vietnam,” Dr. Ky warned.
“Our ward has dealt with some fatal cases of foreigners drinking methanol before.
“People should be aware of its toxicity.”