A California woman recently competed in a local radio station contest. The contest was to see how much water the contestants could drink without going to the bathroom to urinate. The KDND 107.9 radio station would give away a Nintendo Wii game system to the winner. Unfortunately, this young woman who won died of water intoxication according to the coroner’s office.
The contestants for the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest were given eight-ounce bottles of water to drink every 15 minutes. They were small half-pint bottles, so who would think any harm could be done. The radio personalities told them all that if they didn’t feel like they could do it, then they shouldn’t put their health at risk.
Jennifer Strange, the 28-year-old young winner, was found dead Friday in her Rancho Cordova home just hours after taking part in the contest. Strange then went to work where she told one of her co-workers at Radiological Associates of Sacramento through tears that she didn’t feel well and her head was hurting terribly. She went home early and that’s the last anyone heard of her. Strange was found dead in her home at 2pm.
An investigation found evidence of “water intoxication death.” It is estimated she consumed over a gallon of water in the short contest time. Water intoxication happens when a person consumes large amounts of water over a short time. Blood plasma (the liquid part of blood) increases, and as this takes place, the salt content of the blood is diluted. In other words it lowers the concentration of sodium in the blood. This all causes the brain to swell, which leads to a feeling of lethargy, unconsciousness, or even a coma or death.
We are constantly being told to drink more water, and it can be confusing knowing when we may be drinking too much. To prevent water intoxication, physicians are warning people to drink water with salty food snacks and/or drink sports drinks containing sodium instead of water all the time.
No other contestant suffered the ill effects of water intoxication but the radio station KDND 107.9 has come under a lot of scrutiny for hosting such a potentially deadly contest. According to News Factor Network, a nurse had called into the station and warned everyone about the dangers of drinking too much water quickly. Unfortunately, the disc jockey didn’t listen, and neither did anyone else.
Jennifer Strange was a mother of three. On a sad note, maybe people learned from this awful event and now have knowledge of water intoxication. Thoughts and condolences are with her family.