Teen's death highlights dangers of powdered caffeine - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Teen's death highlights dangers of powdered caffeine

Just days before his graduation, 18-year-old Logan Stiner was found dead in his home. Doctors say he took a lethal dose of caffeine powder. Just days before his graduation, 18-year-old Logan Stiner was found dead in his home. Doctors say he took a lethal dose of caffeine powder.
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

Caffeine is such an ordinary part of many people's days that most don't consider it dangerous.

But ever since an Ohio teen died of a caffeine overdose, the stimulant has been in the spotlight.

Tama Sawyer, a clinical toxicologist who heads the University of Kansas Hospital's Poison Control Center, said the form of caffeine that killed that teen is easy enough to come by.

"You can buy this on Amazon for $12.95," Sawyer said.

She says those who've died have ranged from late teens to early 50s.

"We're talking about really rapid heart rate, where the heart can't keep up," Sawyer said.

Just days before his graduation, 18-year-old Logan Stiner was found dead in his home. Doctors say he took a lethal dose of caffeine powder.

But this isn't a teen party craze. It's marketed for mental alertness – energy people can sprinkle on anything – and it's potent.

A teaspoon is the equivalent of at least 32 mugs of coffee, depending on what size mug people use.

It's not the only powdered form of caffeine out there. There are drink mixes containing caffeine.

But those are in measured bottles or pouches. The pure powder has to be measured by people themselves.

Sawyer said that is likely the cause for the overdoses.

"I'm thinking it's just a lack of label reading," Sawyer said. "You get this stuff it's in a powder and you think, 'I'll start with a teaspoon, see how I do with that.' And that's way too much."

A suggested serving of the pharmaceutical-grade powdered caffeine is 1/16 of a teaspoon. That's a minute amount and not one easily measured with kitchen-store measuring spoons, which rarely get that small.

Expert opinion varies about how much of the powder caffeine would be needed to kill an average adult.

One toxicologist gave an estimate of two to three teaspoons. Sawyer said one teaspoon could kill.

"One dose that high and you could be in the emergency room and possibly die," Sawyer said.

Especially dangerous would be having the powder near children. It would take much less to kill a child.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • PGA HOPE Program aims to bring together Veterans dealing with PTSD

    PGA HOPE Program aims to bring together Veterans dealing with PTSD

    Thursday, March 30 2017 8:17 PM EDT2017-03-31 00:17:16 GMT
    It's a startling statistic but the VA estimates that 20 veterans commit suicide every day. And 10-percent of all vets will suffer from PTSD.  Right here in the CSRA, the VA Center and PGA "Hope Program" encourages veterans to relax with the game of golf.  Despite the gloomy forecast today, veterans made their way onto Jones Creek Golf Course for a session on the links. "I get out here Maybe twice a week now and that's a great thing for me to do is just...More >>
    It's a startling statistic but the VA estimates that 20 veterans commit suicide every day. And 10-percent of all vets will suffer from PTSD.  Right here in the CSRA, the VA Center and PGA "Hope Program" encourages veterans to relax with the game of golf.  Despite the gloomy forecast today, veterans made their way onto Jones Creek Golf Course for a session on the links. "I get out here Maybe twice a week now and that's a great thing for me to do is just...More >>
  • Flynn offers to testify in Russia probe for immunity, report says

    Flynn offers to testify in Russia probe for immunity, report says

    Thursday, March 30 2017 7:27 PM EDT2017-03-30 23:27:55 GMT
    Thursday, March 30 2017 8:03 PM EDT2017-03-31 00:03:39 GMT

    Former national security adviser Michael Flynn told the Federal Bureau of Investigation he would testify about possible Russian ties with the Trump campaign in exchange for immunity. 

    More >>

    Former national security adviser Michael Flynn told the Federal Bureau of Investigation he would testify about possible Russian ties with the Trump campaign in exchange for immunity. 

    More >>
  • Fire causes I-85 overpass to collapse in Atlanta

    Fire causes I-85 overpass to collapse in Atlanta

    Thursday, March 30 2017 7:36 PM EDT2017-03-30 23:36:07 GMT
    Thursday, March 30 2017 7:52 PM EDT2017-03-30 23:52:43 GMT

    Witnesses say troopers were telling cars to turn around on the bridge because they were concerned about its integrity before its collapse. 

    More >>

    Witnesses say troopers were telling cars to turn around on the bridge because they were concerned about its integrity before its collapse. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly