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TRAGIC END

Welder, 36, died of caffeine toxicity after downing nearly four times safe level

A WELDER has died of caffeine toxicity after downing nearly four times the safe level, an inquest heard.

Lukasz Sandelewski, 36, was found face down on the floor in his room by his housemate after his concerned mum raised the alarm.

Caffeine can be found in energy drinks on sale in most supermarkets, stock image
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Caffeine can be found in energy drinks on sale in most supermarkets, stock imageCredit: Getty Images - Getty

The Polish national, who lived in Peterborough, was unresponsive and surrounded by "lots of empty drinking vessels" on December 5, 2019.

He was found to have a blood concentration of 282mg of caffeine per millilitre of blood - the equivalent of about three-and-a-half 250ml cans of Red Bull or seven cans of Coke.

Any level above 80mg of caffeine per millilitre of blood can be fatal, the inquest in Huntingdon, Cambs, heard.

Cambridgeshire assistant coroner Sean Horstead, but it was "unclear" how he consumed the caffeine.

Unintended consequence

Recording a conclusion of misadventure, Mr Horstead said: "Lukasz Sandelewski was found deceased at his home address.

"It's unclear how or by what means the deceased consumed very significant levels of caffeine but caffeine toxicity is the cause of his death.

"His death was the unintended consequence of a deliberate act.

"He deliberately consumed a significant and fatal quantity of caffeine but I'm satisfied the consequences of that weren't intended by him."

What are the caffeine levels of popular drinks?

We all know a caffeinated drink can give us that extra boost in the morning.

But have you ever wondered what the actual caffeine content is in your favourite drink?

Here we breakdown the average amount in each serving on average - but keep in mind some, such as a cup of coffee, will vary:

  • Filter coffee (250ml) - 90mg
  • Black tea (250ml) - 63mg
  • Instant coffee (250ml) - 79mg
  • Cola drink (335ml) - 40mg
  • Red Bull (250ml) - 80mg
  • Monster (250ml) - 84mg

 

He said there was no evidence that Mr Sandelewski intended to end his life and there was no suicide note.

The documentary inquest, heard via Skype, was told that Mr Sandelewski returned home at around 1am on December 5 and was heard speaking on the telephone through the night until around 7am.

"At least it was presumed he was on the telephone," said Mr Horstead. "He was shouting and talking loudly.

"The following evening, the evening of December 5, one of the housemates received a message on Facebook from Lukasz's mother asking to check where he was as she called him and didn't get a response.

"The housemate then went to his room and found him apparently deceased.

"He contacted the police."

Tragic discovery

Mr Sandelewski was face down on the floor by his mattress and his room was "very cluttered with lots of empty drinking vessels on the floor", Mr Horstead said.

Police found no visible injuries to Mr Sandelewski.

Mr Horstead said there was "some suggestion from housemates" that Mr Sandelewski "did drink quite a bit of alcohol frequently".

Tests found he had 112 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system at the time of his death.

Mr Horstead said this was over the drink-drive limit of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood "but not dramatically", adding it was: "A level of intoxication but nothing more."

He extended his "sincerest, heartfelt condolences" to Mr Sandelewski's family.

Expert warning

Scientists have previously warned that guzzling just one energy drink is enough to cause heart problems - with effects kicking in after just 90 minutes.

Experts found that drinking Red Bull and Monster could cause your blood vessels to narrow, which increases the risk of blockages and cause heart attacks and strokes.

Other research also found just two cans of Monster or four cans of Red Bull is enough to raise the risk of developing a life-threatening abnormal heartbeat.

Certain types of arrhythmia - or abnormal heart beat - can cause sudden cardiac death, which kills 100,000 people in the UK every year, according to the NHS.

The findings echo past studies, which have warned young people to steer clear of the drinks.

Will there be an energy drink ban in the UK and how old do you need to be to buy Red Bull and Monster?
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