Caffeine to blame for teenager's death, coroner says

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The SC teenager who collapsed in a high school classroom last month died because he drank several highly caffeinated drinks too quickly, a coroner says.

Cripe's official cause of death was ruled to be arrhythmia caused by the consumption of caffeine in the hours immediately prior to his collapse and death.

"We're not trying to speak out totally against caffeine", Watts said. "He didn't do any of that".

Watts said Cripe was considered a healthy teenager and did not have an undiagnosed heart condition.

"That was the biggest issue, how he consumed that energy drink", Watts said.

In his obituary, Cripe is described as a fantastic son who "was larger than life and he did everything with great passion".

Watts told NBC News that a medical examiner and a forensic toxicologist determined Cripe took in an unsafe amount of caffeine given his weight.

While McDonald's doesn't now report the amount of caffeine in their coffee, Caffeine Informer estimated a large, 21-24-ounce McDonald's latte contains 178 milligrams of caffeine. Cripe's dad joined the coroner at the Richland County coroner's office news conference yesterday, telling reporters: "It wasn't a vehicle crash that took his life. Instead, it was an energy drink".

Sean Cripe, Davis's father, spoke out as well, sharing that he hoped his son's experience would serve as a lesson for other teens and parents. "Parents please talk to your kids about the dangers of these energy drinks". Others could have had just as much or more caffeine than Davis and suffered no serious problems, Watts said, according to USA Today. According to one aspect, the blood pressure of energy-drink consumers remained "significantly raised".

Dr. Ben Lawner, who practices emergency medicine at Allegheny General Hospital, says everyone reacts differently to caffeine. While the person who saw him drink the energy drink could not remember the brand of the beverage, Watts was told it was the size of a large soft drink and Cripe chugged it. And teenagers and students, please stop using them.

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