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Caffeine Overdose Killed South Carolina Teen, Coroner Rules

Posted by on May. 17, 2017 at 10:05 AM
  • 19 Replies

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/south-carolina-teen-died-caffeine-overdose-coroner-rules-n759716

A 16-year-old boy died from a caffeine overdose after drinking caffeine-laden soft drinks, coffee and an energy drink, a South Carolina coroner said Monday.

Davis Allen Cripe collapsed and died last month, Richland County coroner Gary Watts told a news conference.

"On this particular day within the two hours prior to his death, we know had consumed a large diet Mountain Dew, a cafe latte from McDonalds and also some type of energy drink," Watts said.

"It was so much caffeine at the time of his death that it caused his arrhythmia."

Last month researchers reported that energy drinks can cause dangerous changes in heart function and blood pressure above and beyond caffeine alone. Another team found similar dangers in 2015.

"These drinks can be very dangerous," Watts said. "I'm telling my friends and family don't drink them."

Image: Davis Allen Cripe

David Allen Cripe WIS TV

Watts said he did not know what type of energy drink Cripe drank.

"The autopsy was performed and there was nothing there to indicate any type of ... undiagnosed heart condition," he said.

He said a medical examiner and a forensic toxicologist both examined Cripe. "Based on his weight, the intake of caffeine that he had exceeded what is considered a safe level," Watts told NBC News.

"I realize this is a controversial scenario," Watts added. "There are are obviously people that don't think this can happen -- that you can have this arrhythmia caused by caffeine."

Watts said he hoped the case would get the word out and help prevent more such deaths.

"The purpose here today is not to slam Mountain Dew, not to slam cafe lattes, or energy drinks. But what we want to do is to make people understand that these drinks — this amount of caffeine, how it's ingested, can have dire consequences. And that's what happened in this case," Watts said.

"It wasn't a car crash that took his life. Instead, it was an energy drink," the boy's father, Sean Cripe, said at the news conference.

"Parents, please talk to your kids about these energy drinks."

The Food and Drug Administration had said that caffeine in doses up to 400 mg (about five cups of coffee) is generally safe.

Caffeine prompts the release of natural compounds called catecholamines, including norepinephrine, a stress hormone that can speed the heart rate. People who have died from documented caffeine overdoses had irregular and rapid heart rates, seizures and sometimes choked on their own vomit.

A 12-ounce Mountain Dew contains 54 mg of caffeine. McDonald's does not report the amount of caffeine in its coffee.

Watts said conversations with Cripe's friends and classmates helped them figure out what he had to eat and drink in the hours before he died.

"Davis, like so many other kids and so many other people out there today, were doing something that they thought was totally harmless, and that was ingesting lots of caffeine," Watts said

by on May. 17, 2017 at 10:05 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Lisa1273
by Bronze Member on May. 17, 2017 at 10:08 AM

This poor family! 

A parent should never have to bury a child.  I couldn't imagine their pain. 

RIP Davis Allen Cripe.

I like that the father is putting this out there with the message ""Parents, please talk to your kids about these energy drinks."

Even during a dark time for him, he's trying to help others.

Cenedra64
by Bronze Member on May. 17, 2017 at 10:15 AM
1 mom liked this

that is so sad.  I saw this yesterday but didn't get a chance to read it.   Mostly I was afraid of reading about a caffeine overdose the way I love my coffee.    I'm going to warn dh.  That sounds about the same as his intake every day.  

Lisa1273
by Bronze Member on May. 17, 2017 at 10:24 AM
1 mom liked this

Same, love my coffee!  

I think your body may build up a tolerance to the caffeine as well.  I've had up to 5 cups with no issues.  

He was only 16!  Sad!  I wonder how much caffeine the energy drink had?


Quoting Cenedra64:

that is so sad.  I saw this yesterday but didn't get a chance to read it.   Mostly I was afraid of reading about a caffeine overdose the way I love my coffee.    I'm going to warn dh.  That sounds about the same as his intake every day.  


SkippyDo
by Silver Member on May. 17, 2017 at 11:43 AM

BUMP!

sillygirl83
by Silver Member on May. 17, 2017 at 1:23 PM
Heartbreaking.
LGAll65215
by Bronze Member on May. 17, 2017 at 2:16 PM
That's so sad.
I can't imagine drinking all of those in one day.
It's not good to drink too much caffeine.

If I have more than one coke or one cup of coffee my heart starts speeding up and sometimes I get palpitations. I'm super sensitive to caffeine.
Abacokalea005
by Bronze Member on May. 18, 2017 at 6:34 PM

Oh my !  so sad : (

Jambo4
by Platinum Member on May. 18, 2017 at 8:04 PM

I think you are right.  My hubby is a caffeine junkie, so much he gets headaches if he doesn't have his Mt. Dew.  I don't do coffee and was raised pretty much caffeine free so I'd probably be like this poor boy if I had that much.  I wonder if he had finals?  That's when you really see the abuse happen.

Quoting Lisa1273:

I think your body may build up a tolerance to the caffeine as well.  I've had up to 5 cups with no issues.  

pvtjokerus
by Gold Member on May. 18, 2017 at 11:42 PM
1 mom liked this

Very sad.  Thanks for sharing.

Clairwil
by Platinum Member on May. 19, 2017 at 3:25 AM


Quoting Lisa1273:


"These drinks can be very dangerous," Watts said. "I'm telling my friends and family don't drink them."


Pretty much anything can be toxic, in the wrong quantity.

Even water.

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