Teen dies from caffeine overdose

David Allen Cripe (Facebook)
David Allen Cripe (Facebook)

A coroner has linked a US teen's death to his excessive consumption of caffeine.

Sixteen-year-old David Allen Cripe collapsed at Spring Hill High School in South Carolina on April 26, and later died in hospital.

David had consumed a large amount of caffeine that day, including a large diet Mountain Dew, a latte, and an energy drink.

An initial autopsy could not reveal the boy's cause of death, but after further tests the coroner has concluded that it was linked to caffeine, local network WLTX reports.  

"We lost Davis from a totally legal substance," Mr Watts said.

He said David thought he was doing something harmless, and urged people to be cautious.

"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."

Sean Cripe, the boy's father, called for people to avoid caffeinated drinks.

 "I stand before you as a brokenhearted father and hope that something good can come from this," Mr Cripe said.

"Parents, please, talk to your kids about the dangers of these energy drinks. And teenagers and students, please stop buying them. There's no reason to consume them they can be very dangerous."

"David was a great kid, and being his parent was a great honour to Heidi [his mother] and me."

The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation recommends consuming caffeine in moderation, around 300-400mg or three cups of coffee each day.

It recommends avoiding energy drinks.

How much caffeine do drinks contain?

  • Energy shots                                        160 mg
  • Energy Drinks (250ml can)                   80-120 mg
  • Brewed/Espresso Coffee (1 cup)         80 mg
  • Instant Coffee (1 cup)                           60-80 mg
  • Tea (1 cup)                                           55 mg
  • Cola drinks (375ml can)                        38 mg

Source: NZ Nutrition Foundation