Office Eggnog Contest Lands Man in Hospital
Ryan Roche aspirated liquid into lungs
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2014 3:59 PM CST
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you don't think downing a quart of eggnog in 12 seconds sounds like a good idea, well, apparently you'd be right. That's what Utah man Ryan Roche did during an office holiday party contest earlier this month, and the feat ended with him in the hospital. "I pretty much just opened it up and poured it down my throat," the 33-year-old explains to ABC News. He was coughing, but thought he'd be OK; when he got home, he started feeling worse. "Two hours later I was laying on the couch, shaking uncontrollably, nauseous, having fevers and panting," he says. Turns out he had aspirated the (alcohol-free) eggnog into his lungs and was "dry drowning," as doctors explained to him, according to KSL.

A doctor explains to ABC that when liquid "goes down the wrong pipe" and ends up in the windpipe, it can cause pneumonia. Roche's infection kept him in the ICU for one day and the hospital for two more days, on oxygen and dosed with the " nuclear weapon of antibiotics ," and he wasn't fully recovered for a week, he says. Almost two weeks later, co-workers are still "emailing me pictures of eggnog ... it never gets old," he says. "I'm pretty competitive but, unfortunately, in this situation it got the best of me. ... Eggnog: not ideal for the lungs." For his winning time—which was 10 seconds faster than the second-place finisher—Roche won a $50 gift certificate to Ruth's Chris Steak House. (It turns out too much of one eggnog ingredient—nutmeg—can be dangerous.)