A healthy 16-year-old high school boy in the US has died after consuming excessive amount of caffeine-laced drinks, according to a county coroner who has warned that these beverages may be “life threatening”.
Davis Allen Cripe died from a caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia, said Gary Watts, Richland County Coroner.
During an arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body, and lack of blood flow affects the brain, heart and other organs.
Cripe had consumed three caffeine-laced drinks — a cafe latte, a large diet soft drink and an energy drink -— in a span of two hours, before collapsing in his classroom at Spring Hill High School in South Carolina on April 26, Watts said.
“Our purpose is to let people know, especially young kids in school, that these drinks can be dangerous.”
Cripe’s autopsy showed no undiagnosed heart conditions and that he was healthy and had no conditions that could have been triggered by the caffeine intake. Also, no other drugs or alcohol were found in the boy’s system, Watts said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adolescents, aged 12 to 18, should not consume more than 100 milligrammes of caffeine per day.
An intake of caffeine greater than that has been associated with elevated blood pressure in adolescents, Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr, nutrition specialist at the University of California in the US was quoted as saying by CNN.
“Our purpose is to let people know, especially young kids in school, that these drinks can be dangerous, and be very careful with how you use them, and how many you drink on a daily basis,” Watts said.