A healthy 16-year-old girl has mysteriously died after consuming a Red Bull energy drink. Lanna Hamann was on vacation in Mexico with friends and their parents when she had to be rushed to a Rocky Point hospital after going into cardiac arrest. Lanna was an athletic teenager who attended Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria and loved playing softball.
Friends say the teen had consumed several energy drinks on Saturday while on the beach. Later during the day she complained of not feeling well and was having difficulty breathing. Although she sought emergency care, the hospital could not save her; she died.
The cause of death has not been determined but Lanna’s family believes her death is connected to the Red Bull she drank moments before. The teen was dehydrated from not drinking any water in the hot temperatures. According to Kris Hamann, the teen’s distraught mother,
This could have happened anywhere, whether she was in Mexico or here in Arizona playing softball.
Jack Wolfson, a Valley cardiologist, said the likely cause in this case was high levels of sugar and caffeine which is found in energy drinks. “Simply put, energy drinks are not safe,” said Wolfson. He added,
There is medical evidence that these things do harm, they can cause changes in the heart rhythm, and impact blood pressure. These drinks should be regulated as alcohol is, no one under the age of 21 should be allowed to have these drinks.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to file complaints from consumers who purchase these types of energy drinks. Over the course of eight years the FDA has reported at least 13,000 visits to the emergency room along with over 20 deaths resulting from the possibility of consuming multiple energy drinks.
Red Bull is one of the biggest selling energy drinks in the United States and abroad. It is a favorite with partygoers, clubbers and even sportsmen. In Britain, Red Bull is the third best-selling soft drink with Coca Cola and Pepsi leading the way. It is regarded as the “in drink” in nightclubs and gyms. France, Norway and Denmark have banned the energy drink from all stores other than pharmacies. It has been classified as a medicine because it has such high caffeine content.
This drink has become a popular component of “mixed” alcoholic beverages despite the warnings which state it should not be consumed after exercise or with alcohol, following Swedish reports of the death of at least three people. The drink is being investigated by the Swedish National Food Administration because of the high concentration of caffeine and taurine, a building block of protein.
Caffeine is known to raise the heart rate and blood pressure. Patients who have been diagnosed with hypertension and coronary heart disease have been advised to avoid it. Taurine is found naturally in meat, fish and breast milk. It is also thought to have certain antioxidant properties and is considered safe and beneficial when taken in small doses. It is used in many energy drinks because some studies suggest that supplementation of taurine may improve athletic performance.
Dieterich Mateschitz, the man who invented Red Bull, is now a billionaire. The 55-year-old Austrian stumbled on a health tonic in Bangkok and launched his version in 1987 with claims that it revitalizes the mind and body, improves reaction and concentration, increases endurance, and helps eliminate toxins from the body.
Last April a study completed at Dublin’s St. James Hospital found that consuming only two cans of Red Bull caused the arteries is some people to stiffen and lead to higher blood pressure, in others it caused their arteries to dilate so that their blood pressure fell. While the two effects may cancel each other out, the addition of alcohol could create unpredictable results.
Lanna Hamann was a healthy 16-year-old girl before she mysteriously died after consuming a Red Bull energy drink. The teenager was on vacation in Mexico with friends when she had to be rushed to a Rocky Point hospital and was pronounced dead after suffering cardiac arrest. Lanna was an athletic teenager who attended Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria and loved playing softball.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)