17-year-old dies of asphyxiation after inhaling helium

RIVERSIDE – A 17-year-old Riverside boy apparently died from suffocation while inhaling helium, though toxicology tests are pending, authorities said today.

Micah David, who bought a tank of the lighter-than-air gas at a Wal-Mart, was found dead Dec. 14 with a plastic bag over his head and the tank connected to the bag.

The death was the second of its kind in the county. A woman died of inhaling helium about eight months ago, Riverside police Sgt. Mark Rossi said.

When inhaled, helium raises the register of one\'s voice, making it high and cartoon-like, but Rossi said youths apparently believe it also produces a mind-altering effect.

“I would imagine it must provide some type of high,\'\' Rossi said. If enough of the gas is inhaled, it can replace oxygen in the blood stream and cause asphyxiation.

5 Responses to "17-year-old dies of asphyxiation after inhaling helium"

  1. between   January 6, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Well, youths, now you know that it produces a mind-altering effect.

  2. Stew   January 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Actually, it states, it doesn’t produce a mind-altering effect except if it replaces enough oxygen in the blood stream. You don’t need helium for that, you can just put the bag over your head.

  3. between   January 6, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Stew, you’re right. It produces a voice altering effect, and too much of anything without oxygen will certainly produce a mind altering effect, but these kids just want a high.

  4. No one   February 7, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    It is a new painless way of killing yourself. There is a book and websites all about.

  5. CJ   August 3, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    It is part of the ……………… how to easily asphyxiate yourself with Helium. The best part about it is if you were to do so, also the most dangerous if you did not intend to do so, is that it replaces Oxygen but your body reacts as if you were still breathing oxygen until you very quickly pass out once your Oxygen level in your blood stream drops low enough to no longer be able to support consciousness at which time you pass out and if still in a non Oxygen environment will certainly be brain dead in 3- 5 minutes…. and certainly biological death should occur within 10 minutes. The individual simply goes to sleep never to wake again.
    I anticipate a increase number of suicides may opt for this low cost method for their final exit…


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