Thursday, January 17, 2013
The young man stumbled into the emergency room late one night after a house party, saying his heart wouldn’t stop pounding and he could barely breathe after downing liquor mixed with energy drinks.
Emergency physician Steve Sun soon found the patient was so dehydrated he was going into kidney failure — one of many troubling cases Sun says he has treated in recent years tied to energy-drink consumption.
Sun’s changing caseload appears in line with a new government survey that suggests the number of people seeking emergency treatment after consuming energy drinks has doubled nationwide during the past four years, the same period in which the supercharged-drink industry has surged in popularity in convenience stores, bars and on college campuses.
From 2007 to 2011, the government estimates the number of emergency- room visits involving the beverages shot up from about 10,000 to more than 20,000.