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Lam Min Lee
15 September 2017
It was meant to be a fun night out with friends at the bar, but an undergraduate from Guangdong, China, fell unconscious and later died after having six cocktails. Guangdong, China, fell unconscious and later died after having six cocktails.
The bar owner had offered the group a challenge. If one of them managed to finish six cocktails within three minutes, the drinks would be on the house. Otherwise, they would have to pay 168 yuan (S$35) for the alcohol.
Wang Yaodong, 19, took on the challenge and drank approximately one litre of alcohol in one sitting, but he soon lost consciousness after that, Chinese media reported.
His friends tried to induce vomiting in order to purge the alcohol from Wang's body but their efforts were in vain. By then, the teen's lips had turned purple and his pulse had become weak.
After much deliberation on whether to call for an ambulance, the bar owner drove Wang and his friends to the hospital, 40 minutes after he fell unconscious.
However, it was already too late for the teen.
Wang had stopped breathing and had no pulse by the time he arrived at the emergency department, according to a medical report released by the hospital.
Although doctors managed to resuscitate him, his condition took a turn for the worse and he died of acute alcohol poisoning the day after.
According to the Wang's sister, he seldom drank alcohol and only took a drink or two during Chinese New Year celebrations at home. She also recalled how he became flushed after drinking a beer or two when they went to a KTV to celebrate his completion of the high school examinations.
Now, netizens are debating who should be held responsible for the teen's death.
Some said that Wang should have turned down the bar's challenge while others thought the social pressure of the country's drinking culture was to be blamed.
This is one of the latest reports of deaths caused by binge drinking.
Last year, a bridesmaid in China choked on her vomit and died after she was forced to drink baijiu - which contains between 40 and 60 per cent of alcohol - at a wedding banquet.
A young bar hostess in Singapore similarly died of alcohol poisoning in 2015 while trying to earn a tip from a customer. She consumed 18 glasses of hard liquor that night.
Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency which requires immediate treatment, explains Mayo Clinic.
It is usually triggered by binge drinking, a risky behaviour in which a large amount of alcohol is consumed within a short period of time.
This leads to a rapid rise in alcohol levels in the body and adversely affect a person's breathing, body temperature, and gag reflex. In severe cases, it can cause coma and death.
A man who consumes more than five drinks within two hours, or a woman who consumes more than four drinks within two hours, is in danger of alcohol poisoning.