Palmetto Poison Center issues caffeine warning after teen's death


Watts says Cripe drank a large Mountain Dew, a latte from McDonald's and an energy drink in the two hours before his heart fell out of rhythm at Spring Hill High School near Chapin on April 26.

COLUMBIA, S.C. -The Palmetto Poison Center at the University of SC has issued a warning about caffeine use after a SC teen died from ingesting too much of it. 16-year-old Davis Cripe died last month after collapsing in class at Spring Hill High School in Chapin.

The coroner says he died of a caffeine overdose.

Energy drinks can contain up to 240 milligrams of caffeine, according to a 2012 Consumer Reports study.

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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Richland County coroner Gary Watts said such occurrences are "highly unusual". However, they said he had ingested a Diet Mountain Dew a little time consuming that energy drink.

The American Association of Pediatrics doesn't recommend children drink caffeine, and recommends teenagers cap their caffeine consumption at 100 milligrams per day.

The US Food and Drug Administration recommends that adults consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day, which is equivalent to four or five cups of coffee.

"Many parents look upon the likes of Red Bull and Monster in the same way as any other fizzy drink, but don't take into consideration the huge amount of sugar and caffeine in them". Cripes autopsy showed no undiagnosed heart conditions and that he was healthy with no medical conditions that could have triggered by the caffeine intake.

Dr Marian O'Reilly, chief nutrition specialist at, said students need to educate themselves on the caffeine content of popular energy drinks before consuming them.