Deaths Caused by Monster Energy Drink?
Written by Faith Anderson on October 23, 2012
oung People May Suffer Fatal Side Effects of Caffeine Overdose
Energy drinks like Monster and Red Bull are specifically targeted to young people, including high school and college students, and, although the FDA hasn’t yet established a causal link between Monster Energy Drinks and the adverse reactions reported to the FDA, a cardiologist from NYU’s Medical Center warns that toxic levels of caffeine can cause “pretty dangerous heart rhythm problems.” Although five deaths and one heart attack may not seem like a significant number compared to the total amount of people who consume Monster Energy Drinks in the United States, NYU cardiologist Dr. Nisa Goldberg reminds us that it’s young people drinking these beverages, and anytime a young person dies, it’s a serious concern. Goldberg warns that “having toxic doses of caffeine can cause chaotic heart rhythms that lead to sudden death,” and notes other symptoms of caffeine overdose, including severe cramping, tremors and abdominal pain.
FDA Investigating Potential Link Between Monster and Risk of Death
The two cans of Monster the 14-year-old girl drank within a 24-hour period is the equivalent of 480 mg of caffeine – about five times the amount pediatricians say kids should consume at that age. Although the girl suffered from a common heart condition called mitral valve prolapse, doctors have reportedly said the condition should not have affected her ability to carry on a normal life, and was likely not related to her death. Despite the fact that Monster Energy Drink is denying any connection between its product and a risk of death, doctors are warning young people that the combination of too much caffeine plus the sugar contained in energy drinks can potentially cause serious and even deadly problems. According to a report from the Today show regarding the Monster Energy Drink case, the number of “caffeine toxicity” reports coming from emergency rooms around the United States has skyrocketed from 1,100 in 2005 to 13,000 in 2009. “As with any reports of a death or injury the agency receives, we take them very seriously and investigate diligently,” said FDA spokesperson, Shelly Burgess, in a statement.