Everyone knows the fun effects inhaling helium can have. You inhale the helium usually from a balloon, then you get a cartoon-like voice that sounds hilarious. However, one story may make you think twice about performing this trick.
Fourteen-year-old Ashley Long died last month after inhaling helium from a pressured tank at a party in Medford, Oregon. She told her parents she would be attending a small sleepover at a friend’s house two blocks down, but instead she piled in a car with her friends to go to a party in a condo across town. Long was under the influence of several illegal substances when the pressurized tank was passed around. The gas proved detrimental to Long’s system when, not much later, she passed out with paramedics attempting to perform CPR. They were unable to revive her.
Experts say the effect of helium on her system was similar to that of when a diver comes to the surface too quickly. The gas forms bubbles in your blood which can then cause a stroke. This is very rare, with only three deaths related to helium in 2010. But it is best to remember that while helium seems like harmless entertainment, you always think twice about the risks before you put any substance into your body.