Coffee, soda and energy drinks are a saving grace for many Americans. Caffeine, in one form or another, is a pervasive yet integral component of our routines, but is it really safe? Consuming too much caffeine in a short period of time is known for causing ill effects, but–as one young teen has sadly learned–it can also be fatal.
A 16-year-old boy from South Carolina, named Davis Allen Cripe, passed away while at school after consuming multiple highly caffeinated beverages within a two-hour period. Reports say that he had no preexisting health conditions or heart issues.
Cripe reportedly drank a McDonald’s latte, a large Mountain Dew soda, and an unspecified energy drink before collapsing. Sources say that the young man succumbed to a “caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrythmia.”
Sources say that it can be estimated that Cripe took in about 470 milligrams of caffeine before collapsing, which according to the European Food Safety Authority, is more than enough to cause problems. The organization says that consuming amounts of caffeine greater than 400 milligrams is enough to cause changes in blood pressure, heart rate and induce panic attacks.
As reported, “Caffeine would probably not have been seen as a factor in the teenager’s death if witnesses had not been able to tell officials what he had been drinking before his death, the Richland County coroner said.”
While officials are hesitant to say the boy overdosed on caffeine, they are willing to admit that he did consume quite a bit within a short period of time–and in one way or another, it cost him his life. Whether or not over-consuming caffeine to the point where your body cannot handle it constitutes an “overdose” is up for debate.