Energy Drinks May Expose Teens and Young Adults to Unexpected Health Hazards

May 24, 2014
by Adler Markoff & Associates

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    Energy Drinks May Expose Teens and Young Adults to Unexpected Health Hazards

    Amid increasing concerns about the possible risks linked to energy drinks, a recent survey indicates that emergency room visits associated with the consumption of the highly-caffeinated beverages has doubled in the United States, from 10,000 to 20,000, in the past five years alone. And while energy drinks like Monster and Red Bull represent less than 5% of the overall carbonated soft drink market, energy drink sales are on the rise in the U.S. and target one of the country’s most vulnerable populations – teens and college-aged consumers. Even more alarming, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that at least 18 deaths and hundreds of illnesses have been linked to the consumption of energy drinks in the last ten years. If you or a loved one has suffered an adverse medical event that you believe to be related to an energy drink or another potentially dangerous consumer product, consult our experienced lawyers at AMA Law today.


    Monster, 5-Hour energy, Red Bull, Rockstar – energy drinks have become increasingly popular over the past five years, especially among teens and college students, for whom the products are marketed as a means of boosting energy, vitality and endurance. In some cases, these beverages are even promoted as healthy alternatives to sodas and other carbonated drinks, based on the variety of ingredients added during production. Unfortunately, the rise in energy drink sales has been met with another, far more alarming, trend – an increase in emergency room visits related to excessive consumption of the caffeinated beverages. In fact, what is believed to be the first Monster energy drink lawsuit in Oklahoma was filed in January 2013, by the mother of a 16-year-old boy who suffered cardiac arrest after consuming a Monster beverage in 2011.


    According to Dr. Michael Jones, chairman of Centra-State Medical Center’s Emergency Department in New Jersey, the risk of unexpected health consequences associated with energy drinks may be linked both to the products’ ingredients and to their excessive consumption by consumers. In addition to containing about as much sugar as two or three standard-size candy bars, “energy-enriched caffeine drinks like Monster Energy contain 240 mg of caffeine, which can be up to six or seven times the amount in an average can of soda and two to three times the amount in an 8-ounce cup of coffee,” warns Jones. “And while coffee is designed to be sipped over time, Monster Energy drinks are available in wide-mouthed, 24-ounce ‘Mega Monster’-size containers that are intended to be chugged.”


    It wasn’t until a lawsuit was recently filed by the parents of a 14-year-old Maryland girl who suffered fatal cardiac arrest in 2011 after consuming large amounts of Monster Energy drink over a two-day period, that a national spotlight was trained on the health risks posed by these popular caffeinated drinks. As Jones says, “caffeine is a stimulant that contracts the blood vessels and increases the heart rate. While it can make you more alert in the short-term, large doses can also cause jitteriness, anxiousness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, nausea/abdominal pain and a rapid heartbeat, and can also result in depression once the initial ‘good feeling’ following consumption wears off.” And while drinking one can every once in a while may not have any adverse effects,”excessive consumption can trigger abnormalities like cardiac arrhythmia or diabetes, which are to that point undiagnosed and which kids may not even know they have.”


    One of the greatest possible dangers of energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster, is that they are often “romanticized and marketed as fun,” says Jones, without containing sufficient warnings about the potential side effects of excessive caffeine consumption. If you or your child consumed a caffeinated energy drink, and has since experienced a serious side effect like cardiac arrest, don’t hesitate to protect your legal rights. Contact our reputable attorneys at AMA Law today to discuss the possibility of filing a product liability claim against the beverage manufacturing company. No consumer product, particularly those marketed primarily for teens and young adults, should cause consumers serious harm or death. With our knowledgeable lawyers on your side, you can pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering.

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