CBS Local– In South Carolina, a 16-year-old boy collapsed then died in a classroom on April 26. On Monday, a coroner has ruled that his heart problems were caused by “too much caffeine,” the Associated Press reported.
Davis Allen Cripe had consumed a large Mountain Dew, a latte from McDonald’s and an energy drink in the two hours preceding his death, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said at a news conference.
“We lost Davis from a totally legal substance,” Watts said. “It was so much caffeine at the time of his death, that it caused his arrhythmia.”
Watts reminds all of us of the dangers an excess of caffeinated drinks can be.
“These drinks can be very dangerous,” Watts says. “I’m telling my friends and family don’t drink them.”
Dr. Theofanie Mela, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says children may not be able to metabolize caffeine the way adults can.
“It can speed up the heart rate. It can increase the blood pressure. It can make a person who is prone to arrhythmias have more frequent abnormal heart rhythms,” Mela said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 consume no more than 100 milligrams of caffeine per day.
According to Watts, Cripe’s caffeine intake exceeded 400 milligrams in two hours. The FDA recommends that adults consume no more than 400 milligrams in a 24 hour period.
WBZ-TV’s Louisa Moller contributed to this report.