A stupid radio stunt, where contestants had to keep drinking water and were not allowed to urinate, has resulted in the water intoxification death of one of the participants.
A woman who competed in a radio station’s contest to see how much water she could drink without going to the bathroom died of water intoxication, the coroner’s office said Saturday.
Jennifer Strange, 28, was found dead Friday in her suburban Rancho Cordova home hours after taking part in the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest in which KDND 107.9 promised a Nintendo Wii video game system for the winner.
“She said to one of our supervisors that she was on her way home and her head was hurting her real bad,” said Laura Rios, one of Strange’s co-workers at Radiological Associates of Sacramento. “She was crying, and that was the last that anyone had heard from her.”
The contestants were handed 8oz bottles that they had to consume ever 15 min. I am baffled at what a irresponsible and stupid stunt this was, and that they let her drive off after reporting feeling very ill (to the point of crying) is just insane. (Edit: looks like she went to work after the contest, then complained of terrible pain, and then went home. She was found unresponsive at her home. So, one would think she felt well enough to go to work following the contest.) No report as to whether any health professional monitored the contest or advised it, but seems unlikely.
Water intoxication can occur when the blood’s plasma levels become too diluted and the body’s electrolyte concentrations go off-kilter. If water enters the body faster than it can be removed (and in the case, they weren’t allow to pee!) the body’s fluids become diluted to dangerous levels. Cells swell as a result of changes in osmotic pressure, and when this occurs in the CNS and brain, it can be fatal. As the cells swell up, many burst under their own bloated pressure as the cell’s membrane is no longer able to contain.