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Students Mistakenly Given "Life-Threatening" Doses of Caffeine

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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    The University of Northumbria has apologised for an experiment on caffeine that went horribly wrong, after they were found to have given two students the equivalent of 300 cups of coffee each. A fine of £400,000 was slapped on the university for the “life-threatening” effects caused by the experiment blunder, the BBC reported.

    Alex Rossetta and Luke Parkin, both sports science students, had volunteered to participate in a test to measure the effect of caffeine on on exercise. When the lab miscalculated their dosage, they ended up taking the equivalent of 300 cups of coffee. They were hospitalised and placed in intensive care for dialysis after the glitch led to violent side-effects.

    The university pleaded guilty to the health and safety breach at a hearing last month.

    At the Newcastle Crown Court, prosecutor Adam Farrer argued that such a dose “could easily have been fatal." In their defence, the university’s lawyer said the university wished to “emphasise that they take the welfare of their students and staff seriously." The university also told the court that it was “deeply, genuinely sorry” as it was fined £400,000.

    A shot of espresso averages around 65mg of caffeine. During the sports science study in March 2015, the two students were given 30g, nearly 460 times the amount of caffeine in an espresso shot.

    Only 0.3g, an amount ten times less than the amount given, was supposed to be given, said the prosecutor. He told the court that death had previously been reported after consumption of just 18g. Farrer went on to explain that the miscalculation had occurred because the university had recently switched from using caffeine tablets to powder for experiments.

    “The staff were not experienced or competent enough and they had never done it on their own before,” he said. They had used a mobile phone to calculate the caffeine dosage, resulting in the decimal point being in the wrong place, he added, saying that no risk assessments had been made. “The university took no steps to make sure the staff knew how to do it.”

    Both students have since recovered from the incident, though Rossetta reported short-term memory loss.



    Study International Staff/Jan. 26, 2017
    https://www.studyinternational.com/...g-students-300-coffee-cups-worth-of-caffeine/
    Photo: Shutterstock
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

  1. dr ACE
  2. nachofish
    Wow this is a crazy dose...

    It surprises me that they got this wrong - 100x a heavy dose. LD50 must be high for Caffeine.
  3. Gradois
    0.3g is not ten times less that 30g. Jeez, at least try to not get a decimal point in the wrong place while you're explaining how the students got decimal points in the wrong place. Or were they perhaps given 3 grams? 30 grams is like 6 level table spoons. How can you possibly think that that is equivalent to 300mg of tablets? I have always heard that 10 grams of caffeine is a 50/50 chance of dying. If that is the case I would think 30 grams would mean certain death. But i guess the LD50 dose assumes no medical help and no preexisting caffeine tolerance.
  4. jalopez
    Is it just me or do synthesized drugs and drug extracts always end up with bad press eventually? Why can't people just enjoy coffee the old fashion way
  5. nachofish
    I said 100x.

    0.3g x 100g = 30g

  6. HyperXHyperX
    QUOTE=Gradois;1810479]I have always heard that 10 grams of caffeine is a 50/50 chance of dying.[/QUOTE]

    I've read that some estimation is 150 espressos, so that's about that. You won't be able to OD by drinking coffee, though.
    If you can overdose on something, it's merely a matter of time before someone does. And because people are stupid and make mistakes... Wait, are you really surprised?

    Did you read the OP?
  7. RoboCodeine7610
    Anyone who can't tell 300mg from 3g simply by looking at it is a moron. Either that, or those two students had some serious enemies in that lab...

    Robo
  8. Gradois
    I wasn't talking about your post. Sorry, I should have made it clearer that I was talking about the article:

  9. trippymindfuk
    This is what I was thinking.....

    That's an awful lot of caffeine for someone to have to take, too. They didn't think anything about having to eat a few spoonfuls of pure caffeine????
  10. dr ACE
    I've read that some estimation is 150 espressos, so that's about that. You won't be able to OD by drinking coffee, though.

    If you can overdose on something, it's merely a matter of time before someone does. And because people are stupid and make mistakes... Wait, are you really surprised?


    Did you read the OP?[/QUOTE]

    yes you can OD from drinking coffee, you can also die if you drink 50 or more very strong coffees
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