Too Much Caffeine Kills South Carolina Teen

Parents should carefully monitor how much caffeine their children drink because it really can kill a person. A teen in South Carolina collapsed while in class last month after suffering a cardiac event caused by probable arrhythmia, the county coroner said.

Davis Allen Cripe, a 16-year-old high school student, had drunk too many drinks containing caffeine, which led to the heart problem, CNN reports. Arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm where the heart is not able to pump enough blood into the body, causing a lack of blood flow to the brain, heart and other organs.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts announced in a news conference that Cripe consumed a café latte (Med- 144 mg, Lg- 178 mg), a large Diet Mountain Dew (54+mg), and an energy drink (not identified – 54 to 200+mg) in a span of two hours. He then collapsed in his classroom at Spring Hill High School on April 26. Sean Cripe, the teen’s father, said, Like all parents, we worry about our kids as they grow up. We worry about their safety, their health, especially once they start driving.

But it wasn’t a car crash that took his life. Instead, it was an energy drink. Watts said that Davis bought the latte at a McDonald’s at 12:30 p.m., then he drank the Mountain Dew and the energy drink almost immediately right after. He collapsed at 2:30 p.m. and was pronounced dead at 3:40 p.m.

The autopsy showed no undiagnosed heart conditions and indicated that Davis was healthy, having no pre-existing diseases that would have been triggered by the caffeine intake. In addition, there were no drugs or alcohol found in his system, Watts said.