Liquid Nitrogen Applied at Point of Sale A New Presentation of Gastric Perforation in Children

Victoria A.Pinilla Escobar, Caroline J. Granger, Anthony R. Hogan, Chad M. Thorson, Eduardo A. Perez, Juan E. Sola, Ann Christina Brady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The August 30, 2018, US Food and Drug Administration advisory warned consumers to avoid eating, drinking, or handling food products prepared with liquid nitrogen (LN) (US FDA. Safety Alerts & Advisories: FDA Advises Consumers to Avoid Eating, Drinking, or Handling Food Products Prepared with Liquid Nitrogen at the Point of Sale.US Food and Drug Administration). We report on the case of a pediatric patient sustaining gastric perforation after ingestion of LN applied to food at the point of sale in the United States. "Dragon's Breath"is a popular snack of cereal puffs coated in LN giving the allusion of breathing smoke on ingestion. Instructions provided by vendors include avoidance of touching or drinking the liquid in the bottom of the cup.We report on a case of a 9-year-old girl presenting with peritonitis and gross pneumoperitoneumafter consumption of Dragon's Breath with injury conferred secondary to LN ingestion. Intraoperative finding of a large perforation along the lesser curvature of the stomach was repaired primarily with an omental overlay. Her postoperative course was complicated by pneumonia and a surgical site infection. She was discharged 13 days after admission. A review of the literature of previous case reports of LN ingestion by intentional or accidental means is provided. This case report and review of the literature bring awareness of the dangers posed to pediatric patients exposed to LN applied at the point of sale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E85-E88
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Gastric perforation
  • Liquid nitrogen ingestion
  • Pneumoperitoneum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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