Coroner: Teen had healthy heart before caffeine

Coroner Gary Watts says 16 yr old Spring Hill High student Davis Cripe's death was caused by a ingesting large amounts of caffeine.

The father of the teen said his son, Davis Cripe, was healthy at the time of his death.

The Richland County Coroner calls his death a caffeine-induced cardiac event linked to Cripe's caffeine intake.

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. Download the ABC Columbia News App for your iPhone or Android phone and tablet.

'And teenagers and students, please stop buying them.

"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.

Watts made the announcement during a news conference on Monday with Davis' father, Sean.

An autopsy failed to show any kind of preexisting conditions. He added that Davis had "a previous history of drinking" caffeinated beverages but nothing that his family considered to be an addiction.

Watts said Davis had purchased the latte at McDonald's around 12:30 p.m. "These drinks can be very unsafe". The goal here today is not to slam Mountain Dew, not to slam cafe lattes, or energy drinks.

"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.

The third incident cited by the website was about a Japanese man who died after mixing energy drinks with caffeine pills. "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".

The daily recommended limit for a healthy adult is 400mg of caffeine a day.

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association last month found energy drink consumers could be at higher risk of abnormal heart beats and unsafe changes in blood pressure. "It was so much caffeine at the time of his death, that it caused his arrhythmia".

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