A South Carolina high school student died after drinking three different caffeinated drinks in about two hours, therefore proving that there is such a thing as too much caffeine. The boy’s coroner is now trying to raise awareness on the risk teenagers face when ingesting large amounts of coffee or caffeinated drinks.
Adolescents Shouldn’t Drink More than a Cup of Coffee
According to his friends, on the morning of April 26, 2017, David Cripe drank a McDonald’s latte, a large Diet Mountain Dew, and a bottle of energy drink in just over two hours. His heart was unable to cope with the amount of caffeine he ingested, giving out during class.
Although the teenager had no preexisting heart conditions, the coroner believes he suffered a “caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia.” Cripe was dead in about 15 minutes after ingesting the energy drink.
Some Are Viewing the Death as Suspicious
During the autopsy, the coroner found high levels of caffeine in the boy’s bloodstream, 1.1 micrograms per millimeter. By comparison, in 2014, an Ohio adolescent consumed concentrated caffeine powder, her blood measuring 70 micrograms of caffeine per millimeter.
Some experts, who were not involved in the case, believe Cripe died due to an underlying condition, not because he drank too much caffeine. However, during a press conference on Monday, Gary Watts, the Richard County Coroner, assured people that he and his team have exhausted all other possibilities, the boy’s official cause of death being a caffeine-induced arrhythmia.
“Could he have had issues in the past? Yes. Maybe not noticed it? Yes. And could this have exacerbated that? Sure.”
During the press conference, Watts also focused on the importance of educating adolescents about the dangers of caffeine. Although Cripe’s case can be categorized as an anomaly, each body metabolizes caffeine differently, in some rare instance, the substance proving toxic even in small amounts.
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