Doctor explains teen's caffeine overdose death: 'A perfect storm of stimulation'
A doctor is weighing in on the sudden death of a South Carolina teenager, who lost his life after drinking three caffeinated drinks in two hours, according to authorities.
Davis Allen Cripe reportedly collapsed in his high school classroom and died last month after the abundance of caffeine in his system caused a heart arrhythmia.
The 16-year-old student consumed three drinks filled with caffeine — a café latte from McDonalds, a large diet Mountain Dew and a 16-ounce energy drink. It's not the amount of caffeine that necessarily led to his death, it's the fact he drank all three in under two hours.
The three drinks combined have the same amount of caffeine as six cups of coffee.
Dr. Armand Dorian, an ER physician and associate professor at USC, says all of the caffeine threw Cripe's heartbeat so off track that it couldn't pump properly.
"This is the perfect storm of stimulation to a young 16-year-old's heart," Dr. Dorian told Inside Edition. "What it does is that it throws it out of rhythm. The heart has to be in rhythm to pump blood to your brain and the rest of the organs to live. If the heart starts beating irregularly or too fast, it won't work."
The coroner's report lists his cause of death as a "caffeine-induced cardiac event."
Davis' father says his son didn't drink alcohol or do drugs.
He issued a warning to other parents to avoid a personal tragedy like his.
"If there is any good that can come [of this], it's that parents should know these dangers of these energy drinks," he said at an emotional press conference Monday. "Please talk to your kids and teenagers and students please stop buying them."