Can excessive consumption of energy drinks cause someone to have a hole in their skull? That’s the claim being made by a woman whose husband supposedly lost part of his skull after suffering an energy drink-related brain hemorrhage just as she was preparing to give birth.
A report from Yahoo News (via AOL) cited a post on the Endres Photography Facebook page from earlier this month, where a woman simply identified as Brianna related the heartbreaking challenges she had recently faced while expecting her first child with her husband Austin.
“Being pregnant is supposed to be one of the most amazing journeys you will ever embark on. You’re creating a new life. You are experiencing unconditional love for someone you have not even met. Austin and I were so excited to meet our little boy. To bring him home. To be a family.”
Brianna claimed later on in the post that she was woken up one morning by her mother-in-law, who told her that Austin “had an accident” and was in the hospital. She was allegedly informed by doctors that her husband had suffered a brain hemorrhage, and after ruling out drugs as a possible cause for the unexpected health event, doctors concluded that Austin’s excessive energy drink consumption was to blame. Austin had supposedly consumed these drinks in large amounts when he was working long hours and commuting.
After multiple rounds of life-saving brain surgery and further health events that Brianna said she and her family “weren’t prepared for,” Austin had somehow cheated death, waking up just as his wife delivered their son. According to Brianna, Austin finally got to meet their baby boy when he was 2-months-old, and while he has already returned home, he requires constant care from his wife.
“Our life isn’t normal. There are doctors visits and hospital trips- so many that I loose [sic] count. But we are here. Fighting. I wake up every day to take care of our beautiful little boy and my husband. I prepare the meals, do physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. I help him with personal hygiene. I help him walk. I help him with every aspect of his life.”
In the days since Brianna shared her story on Facebook, it quickly went viral, as mainstream news outlets reported on the unusual medical event that befell her husband — energy drink consumption leading to a hole in his skull. Nonetheless, many have questioned the veracity of the heart-wrenching story, especially with Brianna’s original Facebook post having been deleted, and the lack of supporting information behind it.
Energy Drink Results in Hole in Expectant Father's Skull? https://t.co/3SPnBbtWIx— Rebecca (@BeckyDeplorable) October 14, 2017
As noted by Snopes, the mainstream news outlets that reported on the energy drink/hole in skull viral story did not cite any information from doctors nor did they elaborate on the family’s background, apart from the couple’s first names and their baby boy being 8-months-old at the time of the post. The fact-checking publication claims to have contacted three medical experts to determine whether Austin’s life-threatening experience was indeed plausible, but had not heard back from any of them at the time the article was posted.
On the other hand, Snopes cited existing “medical literature” in saying that such health events could happen – it is “plausible but unlikely” that excessive energy drink consumption could result in a hole in one’s skull. It is possible that energy drinks could cause brain hemorrhages, as caffeine constricts the blood vessels and increases blood pressure, which could, in turn, increase the risk of a brain hemorrhage. However, Snopes added that studies have yielded conflicting information regarding the possibility of such events.
“Without additional information, it is impossible to know if doctors did indeed diagnose a man named Austin with a brain hemorrhage, if they attributed the hemorrhage to an energy drink, and if they were correct in doing so,” Snopes concluded.
“If events did indeed occur this way, they would be — based on the scientific literature — extremely rare.”
What are your thoughts on the viral energy drink consumption/hole in skull story? Do you believe it is indeed possible for such health events to happen, or do you think that the story was simply made up? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]