THE dangers of consuming huge amounts of caffeine were exposed yesterday.
Twenty-year-old Danni Tripp died after taking slimming tablets containing high levels of the substance and stimulant DMAA, which was implicated in the death of London Marathon runner Claire Squires.
Ms Tripp, who had taken 20 pills, died from caffeine and multiple drug toxicity after being sent home from hospital when a doctor failed to recognise how ill she was.
An inquest heard Ms Tripp, from Abbey Close, Abingdon, had taken the dietary supplement Dexaprine, after splitting up with her boyfriend three days earlier.
Dexaprine is a fat-burning pill which promises an instant energy hit and mood enhancement with a recommended dose of two pills a day.
She complained to her mother of feeling unwell and was taken to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, but a doctor could not find details of the substance on the database used by the hospital so sent her home.
Hours later her condition deteriorated and she was taken back to hospital where she died, an inquest in Oxford heard on Wednesday.
Speaking after the inquest her tearful mum Teresa Crowley said: “Danni was a lovely girl, full of life, very caring, who was very much the party girl.
“I don’t believe she knew whateffect the pills would have had when she took them. There’s no way she would have done that knowing the risks.”
The young cleaner had been on a night out with friends drinking lager, Jagerbombs, which also contain caffeine, and Smirnoff Ice, when she returned home in the early hours of the morning before taking the pills.
She complained of feeling unwell to her mother and was rushed to hospital, the hearing was told.
Ms Tripp was then discharged but suffered a seizure at home on December 11, 2011.
She was again taken to the John Radcliffe but died of a heart attack. Toxicology tests showed she died of caffeine and multiple drug toxicity.
She had 206mgs of caffeine per litre of blood in her system. A strong cup of coffee is between five and 10mgs.
Ms Tripp had just split from a two-year relationship with Damian Moore.
Giving evidence, Dr Aquib Hafeez said she was “hyperactive” when she arrived at hospital on the first occasion but calmed down after an hour.
He said: “I was going to keep her in and observe her.
“They (the family) said if you’re going to observe her why can’t we take her home?
“I decided to go with them. They did not force me or persuade me.
“I could not find the drug on Toxbase.”
He added he could have rung a consultant for advice.
The hearing was told Ms Tripp’s boyfriend had bought a bottle of 60 pills, pictured, on the internet for £34.99 from UK firm Predator Nutrition Limited in June 2011. The pills were taken off the market last February.
Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter said he would write to the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust highlighting the importance of having set protocols when drugs were not on the national database.
He will also write to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
There have been 17 deaths of this kind in America, but only Ms Tripp and Ms Squires, who was raising money for Banbury Samaritans, are known to have died in the UK.
Recording a narrative verdict, the coroner said: “I do not intend to apportion blame.
“There was no evidence Danni Tripp had taken any illegal substances and she had no underlying health problems.
“It is quite alarming considering how death is so rare from caffeine toxicity. There was no intent to take her own life or any sign to harm herself.”