Teen dies after drinking caffeinated beverages, energy drink

Fourth Estate Staff

Chapin, SC, United States (4E) – A teenager died after drinking caffeinated beverages and an unidentified energy drink in a span of two hours.

The teenager suffered from a caffeine-induced cardiac arrest last April 26. He was identified as 16-year-old Davis Allen Cripe. Accordingly, he drank a McDonald’s café latte, a large Diet Mountain Dew, and the energy drink. He is from Chapin, South Carolina and attended Chapin’s Spring Hill High School.

He had no prior conditions related to his heart and as per the autopsy, he had no drugs or alcohol in his system. Richland County coroner Gary Watts said that Cripe was very healthy before he suffered abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmias. Such condition prevents the heart from pumping blood and cases cardiac arrest.

Watts did not directly say that the death of Cripe was due to caffeine overdose but noted caffeine played a role in the teen’s demise. He said, “The purpose here today is not to slam Mountain Dew. It’s not to slam cafe lattes, it’s not to slam energy drinks. But what we want to do is 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.”

Dr. Amy Durso echoed Watts’ statements and added that the amount of caffeine that Cripe drank in such short span of time played a major factor in his death.

The father of Cripe, Sean, said that he hopes something good can come from what happened to his son. He urged parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of energy drinks and advised students and teens to stop buying such products.

Doctors also said that the warnings signs to watch out for to cut back on caffeine are headaches, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, upset stomach, fast heartbeat and muscle tremors.

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