Four friends collapse after being ‘spiked’ on same night

Four women were taken to hospital after collapsing and passing out in a city center pub in what they suspect was a spiking incident.

Ella Shields, 20, said she and her friends Ellie, Anna and Meg were at Bierkeller, in Liverpool ONE, for roughly four hours on Saturday, March 19, before one of the group collapsed in the bar’s toilets and had to be carried outside. At first they assumed she was feeling the effects of alcohol, but Ella said the girl who collapsed had drunk less than her friends di lei who all still felt “fine”.

An hour later, the music student said her own legs started to feel weak and she felt like she was having a panic attack, so she reached for a chair before passing out, all within the space of “a minute”. She later woke up in an ambulance to the sound of strangers’ voices and the feeling of a prick to her finger di lei.

READ MORE:Student ‘lost control of legs’ and couldn’t speak after being ‘injected’ at club

The North West Ambulance Service confirmed three ambulances and two response vehicles attended the scene following a call at 7.22pm asking for medical attention. A spokesman said four patients were taken to the Royal Liverpool Hospital for treatment.

Ella and her friends suspect they were spiked because they recognized the sensation from when they were spiked a year before. According to Drink Aware, loss of balance is a symptom of spiking, along with feeling sleepy, visual problems, confusion, nausea and loss of consciousness.

The second year student, originally from Wilmslow, Cheshire said: “When you’re drunk, your body and your mind are kind of in the same place. Be really clumsy and you might not have control of your body, but your mind will also be like that too. You’ll be really giggly and your vision will be blurred.

“Whereas [with spiking], it’s like you know know what is going on. You lose control of your legs, but in your head, you still know that you’re fine. That’s what set me off where I was thinking, ‘Okay, no, something’s wrong here’. “

Ella shared her story with the uniofliverpoolememepage on Instagram and with the ECHO because she believes part of the problem is people “not trusting their own instincts” and not asking for help when they feel different to how they would when they’re drunk.

She said victim-blaming is also a problem, telling the ECHO: “When you tell people about it, they say, ‘next time you go out, just be careful’, but we’re so careful now, especially after the first time . We always go to the toilet in pairs, we never leave drinks alone, we always make sure we watch our drinks. There are only so many ways you can be careful before it’s out of your control. It was in broad daylight, and it wasn’t even a club, it wasn’t like we were at a rave.

“It just makes you a bit angry that it’s so overlooked, but also when you tell people about it, it’s not ‘Oh god, they need to be stopped, the people who are spiking’, it’s always like, ‘Oh, you need to be more careful ‘. So it’s kind of like, what do you want me to do in life? Never drink outside the house ever again? ”

Ella said the first time they were spiked, at a different venue, staff thought they were just drunk or on drugs. She was worried they wouldn’t be believed this time either, particularly as students. But the Bierkeller staff “handled it really, really well”, offering them water, keeping them warm and making sure their breathing was okay, according to Ella.

A spokesperson for Bierkeller Liverpool said: “Most importantly, we are just so glad the patrons in question have made a full recovery. Our customer safety & experience is always our top priority. Training and policies relating to drink interference are in place for all staff members working in our venue.

“We have been working closely with local authorities to investigate the incident on Saturday. So far there is no evidence of drink interference. We will continue to fully cooperate with local authorities. Again we are just so happy our customers made a full recovery.”

Merseyside Police have been contacted for comment.


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