Caffeine overdose killed South Carolina teen
Davis Allen Cripe, 16, died suddenly last April from what an autopsy has now revealed was a caffeine-induced cardiac arrest.
CHAPIN, SOUTH CAROLINA — A South Carolina teen is dead after a deadly combo of caffeinated drinks triggered a fatal issue in his normally healthy heart.
NBC reports that Davis Allen Cripe collapsed in class on April 26, and died just an hour later.
The 16-year-old had multiple caffeinated drinks that day, including a large diet Mountain dew, a cafe latte, and an energy drink, all of which he drank within two hours. An autopsy revealed that he died from a caffeine-induced cardiac event, which was probable arrhythmia, otherwise known as abnormal heart rhythm.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy adult can safely consume as much as 400 milligrams of caffeine daily, equivalent to either four cups of coffee, 10 colas, or three to five energy drinks. But for teens aged 13 to 18, the recommended daily intake is only 100 milligrams — that’s a cup of coffee, three colas, or one energy drink.
Caffeine prompts the release of the stress hormone norepinephrine, too much of which can cause rapid or irregular heart rate. Not enough blood is pumped into the body as a result, thus damaging or shutting down the brain and other organs.
People who have died from caffeine overdoses also experienced seizures, with some reportedly choking on their own vomit.
Caffeine does have certain good benefits, and the vast majority consume it with no negative effects. But experts warn that it should be taken in moderation, especially for kids and adolescents.
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