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Sunday, January 02, 2005

2005: Alcohol OD Deaths on Campus and Among Teens

In 2004, at least nineteen people of college age  died of alcohol toxicity (alcohol poisoning, alcohol overdose).

"There's no place  that's actually keeping data on alcohol deaths"--Thomas Kunstman MD

Alcohol Overdose Deaths on Campus or Those Under Age
[decedent's name with link], [age], [DoD], [university] [BAC]

  1. Keith Cholette, 20, January 1, 2005, Eastern Michigan University, BAC unknown.
  2. Kimberly Lane, 19, January 13, 2005, Arizona State University (Tempe), AZ, BAC 0.34
  3. Sarah Pena ,  15,  January 29, 2005, Fontana (San Bernadino County), CA, BAC 0.383
  4. Nathan Black, 21,  January 31, 2005, West Greenwich, Rhode Island, no BAC reported.
  5. Christopher P. Berry, 22, March 11, 2005, New Mexico State University (Las Cruces), NM, BAC  0.459
  6. Jacob Jordan Sigalas, 14,  March 4, 2005,  Pascagoula, MS, BAC unknown.

My sincere condolences to each person's friends and family.  I am sure that there are children who have died whose deaths were not reported.  My condolences to their families and friends also.  The sad thing is, I know that there will be more.

Deaths on Campus or Those Under Age Where Alcohol Was  A Contributing Factor:
[decedent's name with link], [age], [DoD], [university] [BAC]

  1. William Charles Clark, 15, Iowa, BAC unknown

Alcohol Overdoses/Poisonings on  Campus or Those Under Age Where Death Was Averted:

  1. Rice University: Lacrosse Teams
  2. Tara Johnson : Chico State
  3. Veronica Campbell : Chico State:
  4. Richard Amador : Chico State:

These Children Died of Alcohol Overdose, So Their Parents Started Foundations:

Taylor Webster's memorial foundation.  Taylor died of alcohol  poisoning at age 19-- Now his family and friends are working  to get the message out, telling their stories and providing  information on alcohol poisoning and the signs and symtoms  of alcohol poisoning in hopes that lives will be saved.

Bradley McCue's memorial foundation.  On November 5, 1998  Bradley turned 21.  He celebrated  his birthday in a way that has become increasingly popular, drinking "his  age in shots". That amount of alcohol was lethal and he died  that night of alcohol poisoning.

Samantha Spady's memorial foundation. A 19-year old student at Colorado State University, Spady died of alcohol poisoning on September 5, 2004, "an unintentional tragedy."  The Spadys say the SAM [Student Alcohol Management] Spady Foundation will develop peer-to-peer counseling and other services meant to reduce the risk of alcohol abuse.

Gordie Bailey's memorial foundation.  (1)  to educate the public about alcohol poisoning; (2) to identify steps parents and students can take to
prevent such tragedies;  (3) eradicate fraternity hazing in any form.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing, the heartbeat and the gag reflex that prevents choking. A fatal dose of alcohol will eventually stop these functions. After the victim stops drinking, the heart keeps beating, and the alcohol in the stomach continues to enter the bloodstream and circulate through the system. The victim may experience the following:

  • Mental confusion, stupor, coma, unable to rouse the person
  • No response to pinching the skin
  • Vomiting while sleeping or unresponsive
  • Seizures
  • Slowed breathing  (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness

Alcohol Poisoning Requires Immediate Medical Attention

Alcohol Poisoning Cannot Be Reversed By:

  • Drinking black coffee
  • Taking a cold bath or shower
  • Walking it off

The victim must have immediate medical attention.
Call 911, stay with the victim to prevent him choking on vomit, and tell emergency personnel how much alcohol the victim drank.

Are these deaths actually a change, or a problem coming to light? In 1994, a Federal law was passed requiring colleges to publish all student deaths.    Prior to that time, deaths due to alcohol poisoning were often hidden.  College campuses, where a great many of the deaths occurred, sought to avoid adverse publicity. Death certificates said “cardiac arrest” or “asphyxiation.” Medical examiners sometimes chose to tell a grieving family, “It was a freak accident,” rather than “Your son/daughter drank him/herself to death.”   Families who knew the truth hid the fact that their child had drunk him or herself to death.

"There's no place
  that's actually keeping data on alcohol deaths"--Thomas Kunstman MD, Lead Physician at Colorado University's Wardenburg Health center.

You can reach Dr. Kunstman at:

1801 Wardenburg Drive
Campus Box 119
Boulder, CO
303-492-5101  fax: 303-492-6861  [email protected]

Sunday, January 02, 2005 at 05:40 PM in Kid Drug Abuse | Permalink


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i am so sorry to here about all of this i was a friend of one of these people and my deepest sympothy to the familys!!!

Posted by: kelley | March 16, 2005 09:07 AM

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