Doctors believe a 16-year-old girl from Arizona died of a heart attack while on vacation in Mexico after drinking too many energy drinks.
Now Lanna Hamann’s mother, Kris, is warning parents to be careful, Syracuse.com reports.
“[Parents should] make sure they’re watching their kids. [Watch] what they’re drinking and [make sure] they’re drinking water instead of an energy drink,” the girl’s mother said.
Lanna had spent the day lounging on a beach in Rocky Point, Mexico, hydrating herself not with water, but energy drinks.
Later that day, she complained to the father of one her friends that she was not feeling well and was having trouble breathing, Fox News reports.
“Blood pressure is going to rise. Heart rate is going to rise. Your muscles are going to start to contract,” registered dietitian Abby Nevins explains. “So if you’re taking a bunch of 5 Hour Energys throughout the day, not hydrating with water, there is going to be a problem at the end of the day for sure.”
Shortly after visiting a local clinic, the teenager went into cardiac arrest and died.
“It kills us. We love Lanna. She’s the greatest girl; all-time best,” said Hayden Birt, Lanna’s childhood friend.
An autopsy revealed the energy drinks’ high levels of both caffeine and sugar played a factor in her heart attack.
“There is medical evidence that these things do harm; they can cause changes in the heart rhythm, and impact blood pressure,” Dr. Jack Wolfson, a cardiologist at Wolfson Integrative Cardiology in Phoenix, said. “These drinks should be regulated as alcohol is, no one under the age of 21 should be allowed to have these drinks.”
The incident sparked a social media campaign targeting companies that sell energy drinks, Time magazine reports.
The #GetLannaHome campaign initially served to help raise funds for Lanna’s parents to repatriate her body through GoFundMe. Friends then used the hashtag to pressure energy drink manufacturer Red Bull into supporting the family.
“Hundreds of us tried contacting Red Bull through email, Twitter, phone and not one response was given back,” says Noa Thomas, 15, one of Lanna’s friends.
Other friends of Lanna’s have stopped using energy drinks.
“I won’t be purchasing any energy drinks in the future, and I’m considering no longer consuming soda products as well,” says Joey Kobold, 20, another friend of Lanna’s. “I never really thought there was an issue — just a good-tasting drink.”
Sources: Syracuse.com, Fox News, Time / Photo credit: My Fox Tampa Bay via Fox News