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Young Man Dies from an Accidental Caffeine Overdose, Coroner Rules

— July 24, 2019

A young man in Australia passed away suddenly after adding to much caffeine powder to his protein drink.

Lachlan Foote, a 21-year-old musician from Blue Mountains, Australia, died from a caffeine overdose after drinking a protein shake, according to his father. His son passed the day before his 22nd birthday after adding too much caffeine powder to his drink, and his body was discovered by his parents on the bathroom floor of their home.

In a Facebook message sent to his friends the night he passed away Foote wrote that his shake “tasted strange.”  He reported at 2:07 a.m. “I think my protein powder has gone off.  Just made an anti-hangover/workout shake and it tasted awful.  Anyway…night lads. Cya in the morning.”  Little did Lachlan know, the strange taste would cause a caffeine overdose.  He was found a short time later.

His father, Nigel, posted on Facebook that a medical examiner ruled Foote died of “caffeine toxicity.”  The powder he had added is especially potent, with just a teaspoon the equivalent of up to fifty cups of coffee.  The coroner reported that there was only a small amount of alcohol in Lachlan’s system and this did not contribute to his death.  A caffeine overdose was the cause.

Young Man Dies from an Accidental Caffeine Overdose, Coroner Rules
Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

Nigel wrote, “While I don’t wish to keep raising the subject of Lachlan’s death on Facebook, I’m posting this because there’s a possibility it might save someone’s life.” He added, “It turns out that Lachlan came home after celebrating New Year’s Eve with his friends and made a protein shake, innocently adding too much Pure Caffeine Powder – a teaspoon is lethal.”

“We knew Lachie was out and he was coming home, and I thought he was catching a train, but he got a lift from a friend,” his mother, Dawn, said. “And because the front door was locked, I unlocked it, and I said, ‘Hi, happy new year’, and I said, ‘Alright, I’ll go to bed now,’ and he paused and he gave me a hug and he said, ‘Mum, I love you so much.’  And that was the last thing he said.”

When the boy’s body was discovered, Nigel said, “I had put my hand on his back and I could tell he had been dead for some time because he was cold, and I naturally went and checked his pulse and everything, but I knew there wasn’t one.”

On Facebook, he added after the report from the medical examiner, “We think Lachlan obtained the caffeine powder from a friend or work associate as a thorough search of his computer and bank statements, by both myself and the police, revealed no mention of caffeine powder, only related protein powder products…Therefore, it appears the pure caffeine powder was bought by someone else and shared, so it’s very likely that Lachlan never got to read the warning label on the packet and was unaware of its potency…And the fact that he kept the caffeine powder in our kitchen pantry (where one of us might have mistaken it for flour or sugar) proves the point – Lachlan would never have kept it there had he known it was a threat to the family.  He was a bright, imaginative young man…We’re concerned that there might be other young people in his circle who bought or shared in this batch of pure caffeine powder and, like Lachlan, be unaware of the danger… hence this post.”


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