On April 26, Davis Allen Cripe bought a latte from McDonald's at around noon, and a little time after that, he drank a large Diet Mountain Dew. Sometime after he consumed the soda, he took an energy drink. At 2:28 p.m., he collapsed in his classroom, and at 3:40 p.m., Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge Hospital pronounced him dead.

Davis was known to be healthy, and his friends and classmates said that he is an advocate against drugs and alcohol, but just like so many other teens, he was doing something that he thought was not harmful at all.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said that Davis died due to "an entirely legal substance,” caffeine. Davis had been consuming caffeinated drinks in the past, but his family said that they don't consider the habit an addiction.

Davis had no pre-existing heart condition

Watts said that the teenager died from Caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia, but clarified that this is not caffeine overdose.

He said that they are not saying that it is the total amount of caffeine in Davis' system, but rather the way that it was ingested in just a short period. Watts added that consuming the energy drink at the end was what the issue was with the cardiac arrhythmia.

Davis weighed about 200 lbs, and would not have been considered morbidly obese, Watts said. The coroner explained that during an arrhythmia, the heart might not be able to pump enough blood to the body, and lack of blood flow affects organs of the body, like the brain and the heart. The autopsy revealed that Davis has no pre-existing heart conditions and that he was healthy.

Caffeinated drinks can be dangerous

According to Watts, it is important to let kids know that caffeinated drinks can be dangerous and that they have to be careful with how they use them, and how many they drink daily.

Kids are advised against energy drink consumption because these contain a significant amount of caffeine, as well as other stimulants. The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) said that energy drinks had not been tested on children, and no one can ensure their safety.

Energy drinks may contain caffeine that is equivalent to three cups of coffee and up to 14 teaspoons of sugar. Sean Cripe, Davis' father, said that parents should talk to their kids about energy drinks.

A study conducted in 2015 show that energy drinks may increase the blood pressure even of healthy young people, and stress hormone levels may also increase the risk of cardiovascular events.

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