Alcohol energy drinks spark concern
06/06/2012 - The parents of a Melbourne schoolgirl who died suddenly after consuming alcoholic energy drinks at a party want answers. Genevieve Gannon
The parents of a Melbourne schoolgirl who died suddenly after consuming alcoholic energy drinks at a party want answers.
The Milosevic family has received a letter from the Victorian coroner's office saying the cause of their daughter's death was undetermined following an autopsy.
The coroner will now decide if an inquest will be held.
Predrag Milosevic said his 16-year-old daughter Sara was perfectly healthy before she attended a party in June 2011.
"She was very active, she played basketball," Milosevic told reporters.
He and his wife collected Sara from the party and took her home to bed after they received a call saying she was throwing up.
They called an ambulance when the vomiting hadn't subsided a few hours later but it was too late. Sara's heart had stopped.
"We were completely lost," Milosevic said on Tuesday.
"We didn't know what happened."
Friends of Sara's told the Milosevics she had been drinking a pre-mixed blend of soda, vodka and guarana at the party and had just started a fourth Pulse drink when she began to feel unwell.
Milosevic said there was no proof his daughter's death was linked to the drink, but he wanted to know what effect the energy drink had on her and if it was a contributing factor.
He said the drinks were banned in some counties and he was asking why there wasn't more information available on them and more warnings of their potential adverse effects.
Cans of Pulse carry cautions that only one drink should be consumed each day.
"What do they mean one can a day?" Milosevic said.
"How (do) they determine that? It's just arbitrary, maybe there were some tests?
"Who approved it?"
Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton said the AMA had been trying to draw governments' attention to the issues surrounding the combination of alcohol and energy drinks for some time.
"It decreases people's perceptions of their own levels of intoxication," Dr Hambleton said.
He said it was difficult to know what had happened in Sara's case, but mixing a stimulant like guarana with the depressant alcohol was dangerous.
"Energy drinks alone are one issue but the mix is concerning," he said.
"Certainly someone naive to alcohol and naive to caffeine might get some problems."
A recent study found close to 300 people called the Australian poisons information centre in the seven years to 2010 after consuming energy drinks.
The study, published in The Medical Journal of Australia in January, said they reported symptoms ranging from palpitations and stomach pain to signs of serious toxicity, including hallucinations and seizures.
More than a third (128) were hospitalised.
The average age of complainants was 17.
A spokesman for the makers of Pulse, Independent Distillers Australia, declined to comment because the matter was before the coroner.
Ten restaurants and fast food outlets at Coffs Harbour and surrounding areas,...
Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson is encouraging consumers...
A man is in a critical condition after being stabbed during an argument at a...
An intoxicated pub patron who waved a gun around while demanding he and...