University Nearly Killed Two Students After Serving Them Equivalent Of 300 Cups Of Coffee In An Experiment

Ouch

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Nobody likes the shaky realisation that you've had too much coffee, but imagine how that might feel after the equivalent of 300 cups of coffee?

This was what two students faced after a science experiment went awry at Northumbria University in Newcastle, leaving them with "life-threatening" side-effects. The two volunteers, Alex Rossetto and Luke Parkin, were each given over 100 times the recommended quantity of caffeine for a study which attempted to monitor the effect of caffeine on physical exercise.

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The error occurred after a decimal place was wrongly translated from a mobile phone, meaning the pair were given 30 grams of caffeine instead of the intended dosage of 0.3g. As the BBC points out, "Death has previously been reported after consumption of just 18g."

The Prosecutor pointed out that the overdose "could easily have been fatal" and that "the staff were not experienced or competent enough and they had never done it on their own before". As a result the University was fined £400,000.

Both students suffered longterm effects in the aftermath of the experiment. Alex Rosetto lost 12kg in weight after a six-day hospital stint and Luke Parkin spent two days in care and lost 10kg.

We imagine neither of them ever want to see a cup of coffee again.