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Sophomores Austin and Alyssa Skeans converse during lunch. Austin was hospitalized due to Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia (P.S.V.A.T.) because of the large amount of caffeine he drinks.
To do the Dew or to Dew the don’t? That is the question sophomore Austin Skeans and his family are asking after he was rushed to the hospital for drinking a high amount of caffeine. When caffeine is ingested it stimulates the consumer’s heart, respiratory system, and central nervous system. Skeans was diagnosed with Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia (P.S.V.A.T.), a condition that causes the heart to beat rapidly. After
drinking large amounts of caffeine, people with PSVAT have a high heart rate and blood pressure. “Up until a couple of days before [I went to the hospital] I drank a two liter and a bunch of cans a day for a month or two straight,” Skeans said. “Maybe three days before that, I cut down to a couple of cans, but by then the damage was already done.” Skeans went down to the nurse’s office feeling light headed and tired during gym class and discovered that he had a
heart rate of 210. “His heart rate was really fast so the nurse called the ambulance,” sophomore, and twin sister, Alyssa Skeans said. “He had a twelve pack under his computer and it would be gone the next day. When it happened, my mom called the school and got me out of class so we could go to the hospital with him.” Up until recently there has been little research done about the effects of energy drinks on teens. A recent study published in “Pediatrics” shows the
effects of energy drinks in adolescents and the possible long and short term effects of prolonged use. The study found that the high amount of caffeine and ginseng put adolescent bodies and health at risk. “The known and unknown pharmacology of various ingredients, combined with reports of toxicity, suggest that these drinks may put some children at risk for serious adverse health effects,” the report stated. Soda and energy drinks contain caffeine in high doses and are not recommended for people with heart conditions or people who have trouble breathing. “In energy drinks and soda the caffeine is [dangerous] because it is in such a high quantity and combined with all of the sugar [in the drink],” nursing assistant Hannah Vogt Schalle said. After the accident, Skeans hasn’t been drinking as much caffeine and is scheduled to receive surgery to help with his heart defect in the near future. “It was a really scary experience and I don’t want it to happen again,” Skeans said. nikki martinez
Smoky Hill High school Newspaper, Issue 5, 2011.