By George Stephens • 04 January 2020 • 10:21
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A teenager is rushed to intensive care as a craze between gamers sweeps through Spain.
Gamers play through the day and the night, often not going to bed at all, especially teenagers as they challenge counterparts all over Spain and other parts of the world via their X Boxes and Playstations and a headphone set.
A new potential life threatening craze though is sweeping through Spain between gamers as they take advice from “youtubers” who endorse products and spread the word as they play counterparts.
Seriously high powered stimulant drinks are sold freely on the internet that contain in just one scoop of powder, more stimulants than 2 x large cans of energy drink Red Bull.
The marketing of these stimulants drinks is that they give gamers ” laser focus” for gaming concentration and the power to do battle through the night and stay alert for long hours on their consoles.
As teenage gamers are heart set on playing, winning and being alert the dangerous craze sweeping Spain and other countries is taking 3/4 scoops of these highly stimulated powders formulating them with water, is nicknamed ” Topping” The epidemic is spreading so far, often gamers as they communicate over their head sets ask a new player ” Are you topping” before a gaming challenge.
Mother Maria Lopez from Fuengirola became aware of ” topping” this week when hers 16 year old son Miguel was rushed to hospital and taken into intensive care nearly losing his young life.
Maria told the Euro Weekly News ” Miguel has been an avid gamer since he was 11 years old, he sits in his bedroom constantly at a console, it started with just a few local school friends but as he got older he would start staying how he was playing against others in such places as America”
” I thought nothing of it, just thinking its kids being kids having fun, I always thought it was far safer than him being out on the street, he had an account with Amazon which I allowed as he could get second hand games there cheaper”
“As he grew older especially during school holidays – I noticed he was staying up later and later and sometimes would play through the night, other parents mentioned how their children were too so I just thought it was a modern thing, but recently I did notice it looked like he wasn’t getting more than 3 hours sleep if that during the day but didn’t make a big deal out of it as he looked fine until Tuesday nights events”
Maria had gone to bed at her normal time of around 11pm and popped her head around the bedroom door to say goodnight and whilst her son was engrossed in his game he looked fit and well.
Fortunately Maria awoke at 5 AM requiring the bathroom and as she awoke she could hear her son chatting away via his headphone set to another gamer, but as she was in the bathroom she heard an almighty thud that came from Miguel’s bedroom.
Maria dashed to the room to find her only child sprawled across the floor clutching his chest and with sick coming out of his mouth. She immediately called the emergency services and whilst she waited she placed him in the recovery position but then she noticed his eye’s started rolling as well, ambulance crew promptly arrived and Maria described what took place next.
” The first question they asked was he only any medication or did he suffer from epilepsy, I explained he’s fit and healthy, the second question are you aware if he takes any drugs? I was quite shocked by the question, but I told them, no, he’s a good boy, he’s just more interested in his computer games”
Paramedics rushed Miguel to hospital assessing him on the way and on arrival took him straight to intensive care,
” Again the doctors asked me the same questions” said Maria.
Maria further explained ” I told them again, no he doesn’t do anything like that, the doctors at one stage told me to prepare for the worst, I was frightened stiff and couldn’t comprehend what was going on, It’s a mothers worst nightmare, I thought my only son was going to die”
” Doctors were trying to stop him shaking and fitting when there blood tests came back which were taken in the ambulance, it was then that the doctors knew what to do, his blood levels showed an extreme high level of caffeine and long word named stimulants, they immediately started a stomach pump and administering what they called reversal drugs” said Maria.
” Thankfully the doctors got to the bottom of it in time, they saved his life, I dread to think what would have happened if I had not got up to use the bathroom, he could have died on the bedroom floor” Maria continued.
After Miguel stabilised on a hospital ward he confessed to his mother and the doctors what he had done and what brought about the circumstances.
He informed them that he had followed the craze of “Topping” to stay alert through the night.
Maria said ” He really didn’t think he was doing anything wrong, he just followed the advice from other gamers, they said they were topping and so he followed suit, it nearly cost him his life”
Maria gave a stark warning to other parents of gaming children ” Be aware very aware, these drinks come with no age restrictions, easy to buy off Amazon and are potential killers, I nearly lost my son, I’m a good mother but didn’t have any idea, the craze through gamers is spreading through Spain, thousands are at it”
We spoke to Doctor Rupert Hayman who told us ” These kids don’t understand the danger to life these drinks bring, why they are not banned I do not know, they are basically drug drinks, the levels of stimulants in them is totally ridiculous”
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