Caffeine to blame for teenager's death, coroner says

A coroner says a 16-year-old SC high school student had an otherwise healthy heart before he died from heart problems linked to drinking too much caffeine.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said Monday in a news conference that the cause of death was a cardiac-event from an excessive amount of caffeine, WYFF reported.

"You know, a cup of coffee, a can of soda, isn't going to cause this sort of thing", said Richland County Deputy Chief Pathologist, Amy Durso, MD.

A coroner says a healthy 16-year-old SC high school student died from heart problems after drinking too much caffeine.

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Davis Allen Cripe, 16, died after collapsing at Spring Hill High School.

Sean Cripe, Davis' father, told WLTX-TV his son did not drink alcohol or use drugs, and warned other parents about allowing their children to drink high-caffeinated energy drinks.

Now, a SC coroner is saying that Davis' caffeine consumption led to his death.

The autopsy showed no "unfounded" or "undiagnosed heart condition", said Watts, who was careful not to call Davis' death a caffeine overdose. Based on Cripe's weight, Watts says the amount of caffeine consumed was above what is considered a "safe limit".

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Part of the danger in what happened to Davis, Watts said, is that caffeine and energy drinks affect people differently. He said the caffeinated beverages caused the teen to suffer from arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat.

The daily recommended limit for a healthy adult is 400mg of caffeine a day. "You can have five people line up and all of them do the exact same thing with him that day, drink more, and it may not have any type of effect on them at all". A large McDonald's latte reportedly contains approximately 178 mg of caffeine and energy drinks range from 72 to 111 mg of caffeine per serving.

"It wasn't a vehicle crash that took his life", said Sean Cripe. After that he consumed the Diet Mountain Dew and the energy drink. "Parents, please talk to your kids about these energy drinks".

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