Fraternity Pledge Drinks Quart of Soy Sauce, Falls Into Coma

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A teen who drank too much soy sauce after he was forced to by his fraternity brothers as an initiation fell into a coma, as his body was not able to handle the high amount of salt.

The 19-year-old, unidentified man was pledging at Zeta Psi at the University of Virginia. The incident took place in 2011 but was just described in detail in the latest issue of The Journal of Emergency Medicine.

When the man drank a full quart of the brown liquid, he quickly fell to the ground and started convulsing. 

Dr. David J. Carlberg of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in D.C. said the student fell into a coma because he had hypernatremia, which happens when there is too much salt in the blood. 

"Hypernatremia is dangerous because it causes the brain to lose water. When there is too much salt in the bloodstream, water moves out of the body tissues and into the blood by the process of osmosis, to try to equalize the salt concentration between the two. As water then leaves the brain, the organ can shrink and bleed," LiveScience explains.

Doctors were thankfully able to revive the man by pumping him full of sugar water to flush out the salt.

Though it took three days, he eventually was able to come out of the coma.

Dr. Carlberg said it was the first patient he has ever treated who "deliberately overdosed on such a high amount of salt and survived with no lasting neurological problems."

The fraternity shut down a few months after the incident but opened back up recently.

Sources: Gawker, WJLA