One afternoon, a 14-year-old girl was strolling around the mall with her friends. With some more shopping to go, she needed a kick that would help her power through the day. As a result, the teenager turned to an energy product. She consumed a couple of 24-ounce Monster drinks. When in need of a little push to get through the day, California residents tend to boost their systems with a quick energy beverage.
However, just one day after the girl consumed the product, she went into cardiac arrest. Doctors induced a coma to keep the teen's brain from expanding. Nevertheless, the 14-year-old never regained consciousness. Within six days, she had passed away.
So, what was the cause of death? According to reports, the girl passed away from cardiac arrhythmia, which resulted from caffeine toxicity.
The Monster drink products contained 480 milligrams of caffeine, which is five times the limit recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In other words, two cans of the power drink have as much caffeine 14 cans of Coke.
Critics of the energy drink fad say that the beverages appeal to teenagers, but they can be harmful to young individuals' health. Furthermore, most of these drinks do not disclose the amount of caffeine in each serving, which can be risky to consumers. Emergency rooms across the country have reported increases in caffeine overdoses. A recent report explains that in 2005, there were 1,128 documented cases. However, in 2008, this number increased to 16,055.
Ultimately, while some energy drink makers label their beverages with warnings, many do not. Nevertheless, many California citizens consume this product recreationally.
Currently, a product liability case has not been initiated by the teen's family against the energy drink company. Even so, hopefully, this case will bring attention to the energy drink industry. Products that affect our heath should be taken seriously. At minimum, maybe these beverages should contain warnings about the risk of caffeine toxicity.
Source: Today.com, "Teen girl dies of 'caffeine toxicity' after downing 2 energy drinks," March 21, 2012