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back to article Oz alkie gets hammered on hospital hand sanitiser

Doctors at a Melbourne hospital have suggested hospitals Down Under would do well to lock up their hand sanitiser, after one patient got lashed on six bottles of antibacterial brew. According to a concerned letter in the Medical Journal of Australia, a 45-year-old chap with "a history of polysubstance misuse" was being treated …

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Pint

A title

I seem to recall a guest at a windsor group hotel doing this a few years back.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/8272799.stm

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Devil

I seem to recall russian tourists doing that

Russian tourists drinking alcohol spiked with lavender extract (used to be popular as a general disinfectant and wound cleanse solution on the Balkans).

Buy a 250ml bottle for the today equivalent of 40p from a pharmacy, down it on the spot in front of it.

Drowsy dunno... More like bawdy...

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In WWII

American sailors used to drink "Torpedo Juice" which was a mix of pineapple juice and the alcohol used to power torpedoes.

Various methods were tried to stop them doing this but were often circumvented.

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Windows

Was this him?

See icon.

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Pint

Apparently..

Apparently it tastes better with a splash of fruit cordial.

It has happened before too: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/297369

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Pint

well

Its gotta taste better than XXXX

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Surely you mean Fosters

One thing Australians can agree on when it comes to beer: Fosters = alcoholic hygiene product.

I'd take a crack at VB (Victoria Bitter) since this is Melbourne but my friends tell me it's really quite good. (I don't drink beer myself - not enough caffeine in it.)

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Unhappy

uurgh

I remember VB, it is not a bitter, it's awful, i'd rather suck on Queen Victoria's used underwear.

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Anonymous Coward

This isn't only down under....

This has been happening in UK hospitals for a while, when an alcoholic is submitted to some wards, they remove all the hand rub for this exact reason. Also fastening them down won't help as I've seen people move from ward to ward with a plastic cup, emptying the bottles.

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Re: This isn't only down under....

Can confirm this. My brother's significant other is an Accident and Emergency nurse, and she mentioned the problems they have with patients drinking the hand rub ages ago. There again, it does smell remarkably like vodka.

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Joke

Re: This isn't only down under

It's for their own good, the water in the gel was doing their livers in.

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Flame

Fastening them down?

Fastening down the alcoholic might work.

Damn... we shouldn't joke (but I just did anyway). Very, very nasty disease. Worse, even than addiction to nicotine. And look at the fuss they make over substances that don't do half as much harm.

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Joke

Don't ask the nurse for a hand rub.....

You'll get locked up for several hours. Sober!

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Newspeak 2.0

"...may be an increasing problem in Australian settings".

ie:

"...may be an increasing problem in Australia"

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FAIL

You missed out

You completely failed to use the pun; 'hand shandy'. Shame on you.

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Pint

Same issue at Medway Hospital in Blighty

All the dispensers at the hospital entrances have been removed as some of my local Medwayites seem to enjoy the taste (i.e., free alcohol)

Only the wards have them now.

I guess it still tastes better than Fosters though...

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Ahh Fosters.

One of those drinks that actually tastes better second time round.

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JB
Coat

Or

"purely for medicinal purposes"

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Not unusual

My hospital has removed all the alcohol gel dispensers in public areas because the cretins off the Infectious Diseases unit kept downing them

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"It surprised us that he drank this stuff."

The doctor has obviously never tried Foster's then.

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Mushroom

UK Hospital problem

I know of at least one UK hospital where the hand sanitiser mounted at the front entrance had to be removed due to serial abuse by the local tipplers...

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Bitrex

Isn't that stuff denatured? You know, made so foul that even an alkie with a cast iron stomach would have no choice but to throw it all back up again?

Obviously not, in this case.

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Coat

Aha, I see the problem.

"thickener, dexpanthenol, dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, fragrance, pH neutraliser and water".

What's missing here is Elephant laxative. That'll put 'em off.......

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Coffee/keyboard

Simon Travaglia, is that you?

Elephant laxative, just brilliant!

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Those about to binge..

We salute you!

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Pint

I thought...

that they put emetics into these things precisely for this reason?

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Coat

well....

He is clean inside and out now....

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Anonymous Coward

Don't they mean

"Accordingly, they suggest removable bottles of hand hooch should be replaced with "non-removable, self-contained dispensers""

Otherwise known as drinking fountains.

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Use vile tasting additives

Such as 'bittrex', as painted on nails to stop people biting them.

Note: They have this in my local surgery waiting room. I'll give it a try next time I'm in there, just to see what it's like.

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Pint

You don't seem to understand the term Alcoholism

When you're an alcoholic you've basically got to have alcohol otherwise you go mental and go into a fit/seizure so anything will do. Having said that most Alkies go for the mouthwash before the hand sanitizer and aftershave. Aftershave is usually the last on the list only because it comes out in tiny drops.

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Surprising

I'm surprised the stuff isn't laced with a healthy dose of Bitrex to make it completely impossible to drink. Most household chemicals are made deliberately bitter to prevent them being drunk by children or alcoholics.

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PTR
FAIL

Drink Drive Limit

Why do all journos compare blood levels of drunken people to an arbitraty level that is deemed to be safe.

Its not like there is a level that is "A bit drunk", "very pissed" and then "wankered". Yet they use "perfectly ok to drive a car" as the guideline.

Makes no sense whatsoever.

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Pirate

Nothing new here - move on

As previously noted this is a common problem.

However, all alcohols are anti-microbial. Methanol and isopropyl alcohol work just as well and have the added advantages of being fatal in lower amounts than ethanol. Bugs and burdens upon society removed at a stroke.

On a more serious note, there are many better anti-microbials than alcohol available. The problem is that nobody - esp. the NHS - will go against the WHO recommendations, that are decades out of date, for fear of being sued.

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Methanol - not a good idea

It's a neurotoxin and easily absorbed through the skin, so it would probably start blinding and killing the hospital staff - this is generally not thought to be a good thing.

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Denatonium Benzoate

or bitrex will stop this at a stroke.....

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Mushroom

Well

maybe detonatium benzoate would do a better job (if, admittedly, somewhat messy)

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Unhappy

Re: Bitrex

As any dedicated nail biter will confirm, it doesn't take long to get used to the taste of bitrex - unfortnately for my nails. And for a physical addiction/illness like alcoholism it would be a totally ineffective detterent.

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Happy

Re: Bitrex

True, I've always thought Bitrex and Campari tasted exactly the same so I doubt it would put of a desperate alcoholic.

Slap a bit of orange juice in it and it'd just be an Aqium Gel Sunrise :)

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Anonymous Coward

(untitled)

He may want to consider a course of probiotics now though.

I recommend one per brew.

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@cornz 1

Thanks for the knowledge - I know of someone on whom to test this out!

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Pint

Barney from the Simpsons

He would be an expert at getting lashed on these

****BURP****

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Not just hospitals either

I recall a similar story about this sort of thing going on in one or two prisons as well. Alcohol-based hand-gel in the visitors centre somehow mysteriously ending up in the main establishment.

Is Genial Harry Grout aware of this and alive to the possible profit-related ventures therein?

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Removed from Irish prisons

Irish prisons removed their hand gel dispensers, as the inmates were drinking from them.

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Happy

Look on the positive side

He isn't going to get MRSA!!

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Holmes

Not just hand sanitizer...

...but also automotive fuel.

Yes, 30 years ago automotive ethanol (in Brasil, mind you) had no additives. You guessed it, 98% spirits at 30p per liter (or try to think something really cheap). Cheaper than water back then. For something related to human addiction. Sold 10 gallons at a time.

People soon caught up. So the gas stations and oil companies.

There was even a joke (more like a TV gag) about a man inserting some sugar, ice cubes and lemons in a car tank...

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Devil

Don't drink the hand sanitizer

Just put a shot of ipecac in the bottle. They might swallow the contents, but it won't stay down for long.

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Angel

Not effective on everyone

As a kid, I used to *like* the taste of syrup of ipecac. Never threw up from it, and I could drink most of a bottle without a problem.

Fortunately, we didn't have anyone in my parents workplace who needed any. (as I never left any after I'd found it. :>) (kids...!)

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Anonymous Coward

Me too!

I even liked the stuff they put on my nails to stop me biting them.

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Pint

So to round things up...

So far we have 3 comments for Fosters being worse & 2 comments for bitrex. But two comments defending bitrex to some extent.

Conclusion: Mine's a pint. Of Bitrex.

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