Cautionary tale #657: drinking too many energy drinks to do anything – in this case to play a marathon session of Call of Duty – can put you in a coma. That is exactly what happened to a 14-year-old Norwegian boy. After drinking four liters of energy drinks he collapsed and was hospitalized with kidney failure. He then slipped into a coma for several days.
According to The Local Norway, 14-year-old Henrik Eide Dahl collapsed in the cafeteria of his school following a Call of Duty LAN party on the school's network that lasted 16 hours.
"I was playing Call of Duty. Then everything went dark and I passed out," Dahl told Norway's NRK network.
The teen was flown to a hospital in Lillehammer, where his condition turned critical and his kidneys started to fail. Shortly after he slipped into a coma for several days. While the cause is still undetermined, the most obvious culprit was his consumption of energy drinks over the course of playing the marathon Call of Duty session at school.
"When I woke up, I was terrified," Dahl told NRK. "The first thing I remember from the hospital is that my brothers were sitting at the edge of the bed and crying."
The teen spent 13 days in the hospital, and is still taking medication to control his high blood pressure.
"It has been very scary, and I have learned that it is not good to drink that much energy drink," he said. "But it's getting better and better every day. I'm starting to feel normal now."
Anne Kathrine Duns, one of the doctors in Lillehammer who treated Dahl said that the teen had been close to death.
"It was severely life-threatening. The central nervous system, cardiovascular system, lungs and kidneys were affected."
She added that the medical staff at the hospital are still unsure what exactly had caused Dahl's collapse, although she said suspects the energy drink played a major role.
"We find no underlying disease in Henry, so for now we are attributing this to the consumption of large amounts of energy drink," she said.
While Dahl is still on medication, he is expected to eventually make a full recovery.
Besides containing high levels of sugar and caffeine, most major energy drinks contain an amino acid called Taurine and other odd ingredients. Any one of these ingredients or a combination of several can cause all kinds of side effects, especially in individuals that might have an unknown underlying medical condition.