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July 1996

Drinking on Campus: Undergraduate Intoxication Requiring Emergency Care

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Emergency Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(7):699-702. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170320045007

Objectives:  To (1) determine the incidence of undergraduate students with alcohol intoxication who presented to our emergency department (ED), (2) examine the demographic correlates of the students, and (3) look at associated injuries that were sustained by the students.

Design:  Retrospective case series.

Setting:  A tertiary care medical center that was located on the campus of a major university.

Patients:  Undergraduate students with alcohol intoxication who presented to the ED.

Main Outcome Measures:  Demographic data and associated injuries of intoxicated students who presented to the ED during 2 academic years.

Results:  Forty-four students presented with alcohol intoxication for a yearly incidence of 3.9 per 1000 students. Freshmen were overrepresented compared with students in other higher classes, with an incidence of 9.3 per 1000 per year (P<.001). Nine (20%) of the 44 students sustained an injury from a fall, and 1 required mechanical ventilation for treatment of apnea.

Conclusions:  Alcohol intoxication that requires emergency care is not uncommon among college students, and many students with alcohol intoxication present to the ED following a fall. Freshmen are particularly likely to present for care in an ED.Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150:699-702