A pregnant woman from Invercargill, New Zealand, died due to an epileptic seizure at her own home. A coroner revealed after her autopsy that her seizure was brought on by her addiction to energy drinks and Coca-Cola.
Too much caffeine
Amy Louise Thorpe, a 34-year-old mother of three died at her home while she was 15 weeks pregnant. Although it has been two years since her death, the circumstances surrounding her demise have alerted medical experts and it emphasizes the harm of too much sugar and caffeine intake.
David Robinson, the coroner who examined Thorpe's corpse, she had a history of epilepsy and other underlying health conditions. Her partner, who was not named, told the coroner that before Thorpe's death, she drank two liters of Coca-Cola and a liter of energy drinks every day.
When she got pregnant, her seizures had been so frequent that it happens once a week. Health experts had warned her that the number of sugary drinks and caffeine-laden drinks that she consumes every day can be dangerous and fatal.
According to the findings of Robinson, Thorpe was asked to consult a gynecologist and obstetrician since she had such bad drinking habits and has months pregnant.
The health experts stated that Thorpe had a seizure disorder that is poorly controlled and that she had random triggers and her episodes became more and more frequent.
In November 2018, Graeme Hammond-Tooke, a neurologist, examined Thorpe and prescribed medications and other treatments to help control her seizures. He advised Thorpe to take antiepileptic medication and to undergo EEG monitoring in which doctors will use a machine to trace and test the electrical activity in her brain.
The inquest was told that Thorpe was reluctant to do either. On December 4, 2018, dead in her bedroom. She was faced down and the lower half of her body was on the bed while her torso was leaning over the cabinet near her bed. The report of her death was published by the New Zealand Herald.
Warning the public
Professor Hammond-Tooke told Robinson about the potential significance of too much caffeine consumption. Studies suggest that caffeine can increase seizure while in some cases the chronic use of caffeine may also protect against seizures.
The intake of caffeine is not advised to people who are taking medicine for their health conditions, because caffeine lowers the effectiveness of medical drugs. Too much caffeine intake can also trigger and even cause seizures on people who already have underlying health problems.
Large amounts of caffeine intake could cause seizures and it could be fatal. As for Thorpe's case, Professor Hammond-Tooke agreed with the findings of Robinson and stated that excessive caffeine contributed to the seizure of Thorpe.
According to Robinson, he made Thorpe's case public in order to make the public aware of the dangerous consequences of excessive caffeine use. He also recommended that the findings be made available to the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and Epilepsy New Zealand so that it could be studied by the members.
Robinson also recommended that advice should be given to the public and they should talk about the effects of caffeine, as it could mitigate the risk of deaths.
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