Home U.K Uni student left in intensive care after four cans of energy drink...

Uni student left in intensive care after four cans of energy drink a day


The 21-year-old man spent nearly two months in hospital as worried medics considered performing a heart transplant. He suffered the effects of downing two litres of energy drink each day for months, a case report in the British Medical Journal states.

The man, who described his ordeal as ‘traumatising’, sought medical help after suffering from shortness of breath and weight loss for around four months.

He’d even experienced heart palpations, reports Manchester Evening News.

Blood tests, scans, and ECG readings revealed the student had both heart and kidney failure – with the kidney failure linked to a long-standing and previously undiagnosed condition.

Doctors said that “energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity” was the most likely cause of his severe heart failure, with each can of energy drink the man was consuming containing around 160mg of caffeine.

The authors of the report noted that in the three months prior to his hospital admission he was unable to continue his university studies due to his lethargy and feelings of ill health.

In the report, the authors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust wrote: “We report a case of severe biventricular heart failure potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption in a 21-year-old man.”

The man had no medical history other than excessive intake of energy drinks, they said, adding that their conclusion “adds to the growing concern in the literature about the potential cardiotoxic effects of energy drinks”.

The report stated that the man’s heart function appears to have returned to normal with “mildly impaired function” nine months later.

The recovered patient added his own thoughts to the article, describing his time in he intensive care unit as “extremely traumatising”, and called for more warning labels on the drinks.

The student wrote: “When I was drinking up to four energy drinks per day, I suffered from tremors and heart palpitations, which interfered with my ability to concentrate on daily tasks and my studies at university.

“I also suffered from severe migraine headaches which would often occur during the periods when I did not drink energy drink; this also restricted my ability to perform day-to-day tasks and even leisurely activities such as going to the park or taking a walk.

“I think there should be more awareness about energy drinks and the effect of their contents.

“I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children. I think warning labels, similar to smoking, should be made to illustrate the potential dangers of the ingredients in energy drink.”

It comes after a separate study, published in the journal Plos One, highlighted energy drink intake among teenagers.

Academics at Cardiff University analysed the responses of a health survey of more than 176,000 secondary school children in Wales aged 11 to 16.

The data, drawn from responses between 2013 and 2017, show that six per cent of pupils said they drank energy drinks on a “daily” basis – a trend which didn’t change over time.


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