Two Northumbria University students who volunteered in the study analyzing the effects of caffeine almost died after they were given the equivalent of 300 cups of coffee.
Details on the Caffeine Overdose Incident
BBC News reports that Northumbria University in England sport students Alex Rossetta and Luke Parkin were given the dangerous amount of caffeine. Rossetta and Parkin were supposed to be given 0.3g of caffeine, but they were given 30g of coffee due to a mistake on a mobile phone calculator.
According to Sunderland Echo, the students consumed the caffeine in the form of a solution with water and orange juice. The intake resulted in dizziness, blurred vision, shaking, and rapid heartbeat.
The students were admitted to intensive care where they were put on dialysis and lost a tremendous amount of weight.
Rossetta stated that there was some short term memory loss, but luckily both men have recovered.
Legal Repercussions Faced by University
Prosecutor Adam Farrer expressed to the court that deaths were reported after 18g of the stimulant was consumed, which is less than what the students consumed.
Farrer also expressed to the court that “If they had not been admitted to intensive care immediately for treatment they could have died from caffeine overdose.”
On behalf of Northumbria University the institution states “All those involved are deeply sorry and genuinely sorry for the breach in this case.”
According to SFGate, the institution was fined $505,400.
A factor that contributed to the overconsumption was the switch from caffeine tablets to powder.
According to the Huffington Post, the Food and Drug Administration has previously reported issues from powdered caffeine, with a teaspoon being equal to about 28 cups of coffee.