Healthy teen dies of heart problems after too much caffeine

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. It was the result of the teen ingesting a lot of caffeine through a large soda, a cafe latte and an energy drink, Watts said.

16-year-old Davis Allen Cripe collapsed in a classroom in his high school outside Columbia, South Carolina last month, and died in an emergency room.

"Davis was a great kid, and being his parent was a great honor to Heidi [his mother] and me", said Sean Cripe, his father.

"Davis, like so many other kids and so many other people out there today, was doing something (he) thought was totally harmless, and that was ingesting lots of caffeine", Watts said.

Father: "It wasn't a vehicle crash that took his life".

Cripe's father, Sean Cripe, attended the news briefing.

Davis' autopsy showed no undiagnosed heart conditions and that Davis was healthy and had no conditions that could have triggered by the caffeine intake. Watts says his intention is not to bash particular suppliers of caffeine-laden products, but instead to help educate the public on very real safety concerns.

'And teenagers and students, please stop buying them. He said Cripe had no family history that would have compounded the effects of caffeine and said the boy was otherwise healthy when he died. "It's the, the amount and also the time frame in which these caffeinated beverages are consumed that can put you at risk, for anybody really, for your heart to start beating very, very rapidly and that could cause a sudden arrhythmia and in rare cases such as this can cause death".

The coroner says he knows the topic is controversial as people tend to downplay the significant dangers of caffeine.

Assuming Cripe drank a large latte and energy drink, in addition to the large Mountain Dew, he would have had about 434mg.

  • Eleanor Harrison