Teenager Suddenly Collapses And Dies After Experiencing Self-Induced Caffeine Rush

Whether it’s an early morning coffee or a mid-afternoon energy drink, consuming a caffeinated drink has become a daily ritual for millions of Americans, especially teenagers and young adults.

Davis Allen Cripe, a healthy 16-year-old boy from South Carolina, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest after consuming a large amount of caffeine at school. Since the incident, bystanders have described how Davis had quickly drunk several different caffeinated drinks in the hours before he passed away.

Onlookers and fellow students have reported that the young man consumed the following drinks: a McDonald’s Latte, an unidentified energy drink, and a large Mountain Dew.

After the Richland County coroner had released their report, Davis’ family were stunned to hear that their son had died from "Caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia." Arrhythmia is the medical term for an irregular heartbeat and can lead to some health complications, ranging from imperceptible heart palpitations to cardiac arrest. Davis had no pre-existing health problems or heart conditions and weighed 200lbs (90kg).

The coroner who filed the report, Gary Watts, emphasized the tragic nature of the teenager’s death, saying: “We lost Davis from a totally legal substance. [Cripe] was totally against drugs, he was totally against alcohol. He didn’t do any of that.”

While not usually labeled as life threatening, the dangers of consuming large amounts of caffeine are well documented. The European Food Safety Authority have released a report on the dangers, stating that consuming more than 400mg (approximately 4 cups of coffee) of caffeine can result in irregular heartbeat, panic attacks, insomnia and higher blood pressure. The effects of caffeine on your body are also heavily dependent on your metabolism.

According to witness reports and his own examination of the body, Mr. Watts had concluded that Davis consumed approximately 470mg of caffeine in the two hours before he collapsed.

In particular, Mr. Watts believes that Davis’ consumption of a large energy drink was particularly harmful to his body as one 450ml energy drink can contain up to 240mg of caffeine.

Tellingly, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have delivered warnings about the growing consumption of energy drinks amongst America’s teenage population, stating that the drinks have numerous addictive properties and their effects on children’s bodies remain unclear.

After such a tragic occurrence, many people are beginning to accept the idea that their caffeine consumption may be dangerous If you are experiencing headaches, a racing heart or insomnia after drinking coffee or a similar caffeinated drink, it might be a good idea to reduce your own caffeine consumption.

Source: BBC
Photo: BBC

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