Text Size

English Man Dies of Caffeine Overdose

posted 06:40 AM EST, Fri November 05, 2010
-- filed under:

His family calls for a ban of the sale of pure caffeine powder, which can be bought easily and cheaply over the internet.

Michael Lee Bedford, 23, of Fir Tree Close died after taking a couple of spoonfuls of pure caffeine powder given to him at a party. At an inquest this week, his family called for a ban on the easy sale of the drug, or at the very least a mandatory warning on packages that explains the very real potential danger of a lethal overdose.

At the party, Bedford took a dose which was equivalent to roughly 70 energy drinks in a single sitting. The maximum recommended dose is 1/16 of a teaspoon.

Fifteen minutes after ingesting the caffeine Bedford began slurring his words, become incoherent, started sweating profusely and then began vomiting blood. Friends called an ambulance which arrived quickly, but it was too late for the young man who had ingested such an extreme dose of a very toxic substance.

At the inquest, Notts Coroner Dr Nigel Chapman railed against the sale of such a dangerous substance. He said the caffeine was purchased for just over 3 pounds on the internet and said the warning on the package was completely insufficient to the danger of the product, saying, “Who would take one sixteenth of a teaspoon? It's such a small dosage, the warning is so small on the front of it. If you're sharing a bag, carrying it around and if you hadn't seen the warning – it could be that anyone at the party could have taken it. It's so dangerous to take something like this.”

Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category
Story Highlights
  • Pure Caffeine: Easily bought for a few dollars on the internet, can be lethal in very small doses.
Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.

Find Treatment
Browse by region »
Scan to call us
using your phone camera app