Foreigner in Hanoi hospitalized for suspected methanol poisoning

Alcohol is poured into a glass in this photo illustration. - AFP
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A foreign man has been admitted to Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi after drinking alcohol from two local eateries, with doctors citing methanol poisoning as the primary suspect.

Martin, the 35-year-old victim whose nationality is still unclear, has been living on Phao Dai Lang Street in the Vietnamese capital.

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According to Martin’s accounts, he consumed alcohol bought from two local diners on Phao Dai Lang Street last Friday before experiencing blurred vision on Monday.

Believing it was simply an eye problem, he visited the National Institute of Ophthalmology in Hanoi for an exam.

Suspecting methanol poising, of which blurred vision is a symptom, doctors quickly ordered a transfer to the Poison Control Center at Bach Mai Hospital, where they are still waiting for lab test results to conclude Martin’s condition.

Over the last four days, the hospital has admitted three other patients with similar symptoms, all of whom have reported drinking alcohol from roadside eateries in days leading to the onset of their symptoms.

Two of the patients are still unconscious, while the other is experiencing blurred vision similar to Martin’s.

On Wednesday afternoon, an inspection team led by Nguyen Khac Hien, director of Hanoi’s Department of Health, collected alcohol samples from eateries in Dong Da District, where two of the hospitalized patients had purchased alcohol.

However, quick tests of the samples returned no signs of methanol.

Methanol-tainted alcohol sold at small eateries in Vietnam has been found responsible for a spate of alcohol poisonings in the Southeast Asian country, shining light on the alarming dangers of the toxic substance.

-Tuoi Tre News

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