3TV speaks to family of ASU student left at hospital with alcohol poisoning

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Natalie Brand

Posted on May 14, 2013 at 6:52 AM

Updated Thursday, May 16 at 5:47 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A 20-year-old Arizona State University student is lucky to be alive after a night of excessive drinking landed him in the hospital with a blood alcohol level of 0.47, nearly six times the legal threshold of 0.08.

Classes at ASU ended last week. The weekend saw all sorts of end-of-semester and end-of-year parties.

Aidan Mohr reportedly took part in a shots competition at a daytime party, pounding more than 14 tequila shots over the span of an hour, according to police. At some point, he went into shock, passed out and turned blue. According to Mayo Clinic, blue-tinged skin is one of several symptoms of alcohol poisoning and an indication that immediate treatment is necessary.

Mohr's friends took him to another friend's house. That friend recognized that Mohr was in serious trouble. Rather than calling 911, the group took him to the emergency room at Tempe St. Luke's Hospital. There they placed him in a wheelchair with a note including contact information for the friend.

Hospital workers spotted Mohr, unconscious and put him in the ICU.  He's now returned to California where his family says he's doing okay.  3TV spoke to his father, Chris Mohr, by phone.  He said he's not upset with the school.

"This is just two young adults making bad decisions," said Mohr who told 3TV his son has learned from this situation.

There are conflicting reports over whether Aidan Mohr was dropped off and left at the hospital by himself, or whether a friend remained with him.  The police report states a friend returned to the ER, and Chris Mohr said his son was not left alone.

However, police indicate there was a delay in bringing him to the hospital as friends discussed what to do.

"If you see someone who needs help, you need to get them to the hospital.  Don't be afraid, don't worry about the consequences; get them to the hospital," Mohr said.

Because individuals tolerate and respond to alcohol differently, there is no single BAC number that defines alcohol poisoning. A personal actually can ingest a dangerous amount of alcohol before ever showing symptoms of a problem, including passing out. Diagnosis of alcohol poisoning depends on a number of factors, especially symptoms the patient exhibits.

However, there's no question .471 is an incredibly dangerous level.

"There's been deaths reported at that level," said Dr. Frank LoVecchio of Banner Poison and Drug Information.

"There's a lot of peer pressure for binge drinking," Dr. LoVecchio said.  "I can't predict the future, but more likely than not, someone is going to die, at least one or two times this year, someone is going to die from binge drinking in this country."

Dr. LoVecchio also stressed the importance of calling for help, or bringing in a patient immediately, even if the subject has been engaging in underage drinking.

"As an emergency room physician, the last thing we want to do is prosecute you as a patient, or a friend," said Dr. LoVecchio.  "What's important to us is treating the patient."

The Tempe Police Department is looking into the matter. No word on whether any of the individuals involved may be cited.

Mohr reportedly is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the same fraternity that made headlines when ASU freshman Jack Culolias vanished after leaving a fraternity event December. His body was found several days later in the Salt River north of Tempe Marketplace.

SAE's national organization released the following statement about the incident involving Mohr:

"The Sigma Alpha Epsilon headquarters has learned of an incident in which a member of our Arizona Beta chapter at Arizona State University was given medical attention for alcohol poisoning. National staff and local alumni leaders are investigating whether or not the chapter or its members had any affiliation with this incident, and at this time, we have no indication that it occurred in conjunction with any chapter-planned event or activity. The chapter and its members are currently in recess following the end of the academic term."

Statement from ASU:
 
In recent months there have been several unrelated, off-campus incidents involving ASU students and alcohol abuse. ASU takes all such incidents very seriously and takes disciplinary action in these incidents, where appropriate. When the incidents happen off campus, as these have, the ASU Police Department and the Dean of Students Office work collaboratively with City of Tempe officials and the Tempe Police Department to respond. Tempe Police are in charge of this investigation.
 
These handful of recent incidents are not indicative of the more than 73,000 ASU students who work and study diligently, and stay out of trouble. The university has zero tolerance for actions that put students at risk or are in violation of state and federal law.
 
The university also has a number of programs to promote healthy living and discourage substance abuse of any kind. ASU Wellness provides education in freshmen academic success classes to help students lead a healthier lifestyle. Education addresses underage and high risk drinking, and prescription drug abuse, and the negative outcomes these behaviors can lead to. Online education is offered through the ASU Wellness website and through student organizations and classes such as the Alcohol Wise online class that is offered to prevent high risk and underage drinking. Students who have violated ASU’s alcohol and other drugs policy may be required to take online classes including Under the Influence or Marijuana 101.
 
ASU Wellness utilizes a variety of mass communications vehicles to educate students and encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle that avoids high risk and/or underage drinking including:  My ASU announcements and ads that link to online education, weekly Well Devil updates that go out to more than 12,000 students each week, electronic newsletters directed to specific student audiences such as student residents, student organization leaders and multicultural student groups. Social marketing campaigns produce and distribute messages through poster campaigns distributed in all residence halls and through the above media.
 
The ASU Police Department also hosts on average 100-plus events per year where officers educate students on the laws related to alcohol (MIP, MIC, DUI), issues related to alcohol tolerance and the negative consequences of underage drinking, and binge drinking.

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