Hearing into soft drink death

Last updated 16:50 21/08/2012

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A teenager, who died after installing insulation in a Sydney house, had a liking for soft drinks and dislike of water that could have made him more susceptible to heat stroke, an inquest has heard.

Marcus Wilson, 19, died of hyperthermia on November 21, 2009, a day after he installed insulation in a house in St Clair in Sydney's west, in temperatures above 40 degrees.

This morning, Professor of Emergency Medicine at St Vincent's Hospital, Gordian Fulde, told the Coroner's Court in Glebe that caffeinated soft drinks do not rehydrate the body, but can have the effect of drawing water out of the body.

The court was told Mr Wilson did not like drinking water and on the day he was installing the insulation, he had drunk at least one can of Coca-Cola.

Asked by counsel assisting the coroner, Patricia Lowson, if Mr Wilson's consumption of soft drinks would have diminished his ability to cope with the extreme temperatures in the roof cavity, Dr Fulde said: "It would have predisposed him to a susceptibility to heat stroke much more so than a normal 19 year old."

The hearing continues.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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