South Carolina Teen Dies From Excessive Caffeine

Ebony Scott
May 21, 2017

A teenager in the U.S. collapsed at school and died after drinking three highly-caffeinated drinks too quickly, a coroner has ruled.

Davis Allen Cripe (16) drank a latte from McDonald's, a large Mountain Dew soda, and a highly caffeinated energy drink in just under two hours, said Gary Watts, the coroner of Richland County, South Carolina.

A caffeine overdose has been ruled the cause of death of a SC teenager last month, a state coroner reported on Monday. The fatal event was likely caused by arrhythmia.

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association last month found energy drink consumers could be at higher risk of abnormal heart beats and unsafe changes in blood pressure. As a result of the abnormal heart rhythm, there would be lack of blood flow in the body, negatively affecting the brain, heart and other organs.

"The objective here today is not to slam Mountain Dew, it's not to slam café lattes, its not to slam energy drinks", Watts said. An hour later, about 3:40 p.m., Davis was pronounced dead. A postmortem showed no sign of a heart condition.

The boy's father on Monday said his son was very careful about drugs and alcohol.

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"We lost Davis from a totally legal substance", said Watts, adding that the boy was a model student and was not addicted to caffeine, but rather he had some kind of heart condition.

Watts noted that energy drinks can be very unsafe and urges people to stay away from them.

Davis weighed a little more than 200 pounds (90 kg) but would not have been considered morbidly obese, Mr Watts said.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends that adults consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day, which is the equivalent of four to five cups of coffee, according to the center.

"It wasn't a vehicle crash that took his life", Sean Cripe said while holding back tears, according to USA Today. "Instead, it was an energy drink", Sean Cripe said. If you're buying caffeinated drinks, experts say you should be sure to check the caffeine content to be sure you're staying within safe limits.

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