Objective: Alcohol misuse by college students places resource demands on colleges and universities, including the provision of medical services for intoxicated students. We harvested archival data to document the prevalence of alcohol-related ambulance utilization and to explore factors associated with ambulance use.
Methods: We reviewed 2 years of university ambulance records and determined which trips were alcohol related and their demographic, descriptive, and medical correlates.
Results: Alcohol use was associated with 17 and 16 percent of all university-based ambulance trips in 2005 and 2006, respectively. When alcohol was involved, patients were more likely to be younger than 21 years, less alert, and more likely to receive advanced life support. Alcohol-related ambulance trips were more likely to occur on weekends, to involve transport from a residence hall, and to a hospital.
Conclusion: Alcohol misuse is associated with one out of every six campus-based ambulance runs, a hidden cost of student alcohol misuse.