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Caffeine overexposure may result in wrongful death of children

Caffeine is a legal, unregulated product that is used on daily basis by most people here in West Virginia and throughout the country. Therefore, people do not put much thought into the dangers that it can have on one's body, especially younger individuals. In severe cases, it may result in the wrongful death of an individual.

The Poison Center from another state says that it has received 45 calls, at minimum, this year regarding caffeine overexposure sickness. Out of those 45 calls, 19 of them required some level of medical attention. This is particularly alarming since caffeine is found in so many products that children – the most vulnerable to caffeine overexposure – tend to use, such as tea, energy drinks and soda.

Caffeine overexposure can cause one's heart rate and blood pressure to increase, which can increase the risk of going into cardiac arrest. In some cases, it could result in seizures. The smaller a person is, the faster these symptoms take effect. Reportedly, 40 percent of poison center calls are related to children under six years of age getting their hands on energy drinks.

One Ohio teenager was looking for a way to make it through his finals, so he took powdered caffeine that a friend gave him. Unfortunately, he died from it. The autopsy results showed that the caffeine in his body was 23 times the amount that a typical soda drinker would have in his or her body. The teen's parents have filed a lawsuit for wrongful death against the manufacturers and sellers of the powdered caffeine, but it is unclear where that case will go.

Some overexposure to caffeine may be due to insufficient labeling. The labels may not clearly state the amount of caffeine that the product contains. If this is the case, it may be possible to hold the negligent parties accountable for the personal injuries or wrongful death that occur as a result of this mislabeling. In these types of cases, West Virginia victims or families of victims may be entitled to recover financial restitution for medical expenses and related hardships that occurred as a result.

Source: ksdk.com, "Caffeine overexposure dangerous for children", Kay Quinn, July 13, 2015

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