8 Strange Overdoses
Laughing Gas Overdose
In June 2013, a 29-year-old Goleta man died of a laughing gas overdose. His body was discovered in his car, which was parked in the lot of the Human Performance Center located by the intersection of Calle Real and Pueblo Street. Police were alerted by a center employee who noted that the car had not been moved for several days. Santa Barbara police discovered the man slumped backwards in the driver's seat with a plastic bag over his head and as many as 100 small canisters of nitrous oxide strewn throughout the car. Police spokesperson Sergeant Riley Harwood said there was no indication of “foul play,” adding that it remained uncertain whether the victim died from an accidental overdose or if he took his life intentionally.
Jennifer Lea Strange joined a short list of people who drank themselves to death with water when she fatally consumed an overdose of H2O during a radio contest called "Hold Your Wee for a Wii." The young wife and mother agreed to drink as much water as possible as part of the contest in order to win a Wii game player. Contestants competed to see who could go the longest without stopping to urinate. After the contest, Strange collapsed and died resulting in a civil lawsuit against the radio station. Water intoxication, which is also known as hyper-hydration, can cause a fatal disturbance in the brain when the electrolytes in the body are thrown off their normal balance.
Strange had showed fellow contestants photographs of her two sons and daughter, for whom she was hoping to win the Nintendo Wii. The game console sells for about $250.
A 47-year-old woman in Detroit is now making headlines after drinking so much tea that she ended up developing a rare bone disease known to the scientific community as skeletal fluorosis, eventually losing all of her teeth. For those who are unfamiliar with said medical condition, “skeletal fluorosis” is basically doctors' talk for stiff joints, bone pain, and easily breakable teeth.
Long story short, fluoride is a mineral which, when administered in controlled and relatively small amounts, is actually quite beneficial.
However, this woman's habit of daily drinking a pitcher of tea made from over 100 tea bags for a period of roughly 17 years eventually led to her body being exposed to whopping amounts of the mineral.
Still, there is one piece of very good news: the woman's skeletal fluorosis has every chance of healing in time, provided that she cuts down on her tea intake and turns towards other beverages, instead.
It always seemed like a scare tactic when fat-fearing parents would tell their sugar loving kids, "If you drink too much Coke, you could die!" (okay, maybe in a not such a morbid way) However, a woman actually died from drinking too much Coke. The coroner blamed the 30-year-old woman's 2.2 GALLON a day Coke problem—as in Coca Cola—as the reason for her death. 2.2 gallons is about four 2-liter bottles, or nearly 24 cans of Coke every day.
Natasha Harris, a 30-year-old mother of eight from Invercargill in southern New Zealand, drank huge amounts of the fizzy beverage for years before her death in February 2010, coroner David Crerar found.
He said Harris suffered from a number of health conditions which could be linked to the "extreme" amounts of Coke she downed, playing a role in the cardiac arrhythmia that finally killed her.
We always giggle at those erectile-dysfunction-tablet advertisements, where a man with a serious voice intones over soft-focus images of kindly, silver-haired couples, "In the rare event of an erection lasting more than four hours, seek immediate medical help." For one Russian man, however, this disclaimer read like a challenge.
Twenty-eight year old mechanic Sergey Tuganov reportedly accepted a $4,300 bet from two women who claimed he didn't have the stamina to endure an all-day sex session with them. Twelve hours and a whole bottle of Viagra later the dirty deed was done. Unfortunately, so was Mr. Tuganov.
According to Moscow police, the heroic grease monkey thrust his last mere moments after winning his wager, the victim of a somewhat predictable heart attack. Here's a suggested new health warning: "In the rare event of a Russian all-day Viagra orgy challenge, politely decline." (Link)
Caffeine Powder Overdose
A 23-year-old British man died after ingesting two spoonfuls of caffeine powder that had the same potency as 70 cans of energy drinks. An inquest over the death of Michael Lee Bedford from Mansfield, in central England, was held, where Bedford's friends said they saw him take a "spoonful of white powder" that was given to him by a friend and then wash it down with an energy drink at a party. Fifteen minutes after taking the powder, "He was puking up blood and he was sweating really bad," said one friend.
The packet of caffeine powder was purchased online for $5.38 and instructed users to take no more than one sixteenth of a teaspoon. Bedford's death has been ruled accidental.
Soy Sauce Overdose
A young man who drank a quart of soy sauce went into a coma and nearly died from an excess of salt in his body. The 19-year-old, who drank the soy sauce after being dared by his friends, is the first person known to have deliberately overdosed on such a high amount of salt and survived with no lasting neurological problems.
After the man drank the soy sauce, he began twitching and having seizures, so the friends took him to an emergency room. That hospital administered anti-seizure medication, but he was already in a coma when he was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where Dr. David J. Carlberg was working, nearly four hours after the event.
The man's sodium levels returned to normal after about five hours. He remained in a coma for three days, but woke up on his own.
They are the vegetables that split opinions, and now doctors say that Brussel sprouts should come with a health warning when a man was hospitalized after eating them. The leafy green vegetables contain vitamin K, a chemical the body uses to promote blood clotting, and it counteracts the effects of anticoagulants (blood thinning medication).
The man, from Ayrshire, Scotland, was prescribed anticoagulants after suffering heart failure and his dose was monitored once or twice a week to prevent blood clotting. When his blood started to clot, the man was admitted to a specialized heart unit of the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank. Doctors could not work out why the medication was not keeping his blood thin until they discovered that he had been eating too many sprouts.