Alberta teen dies after night of drinking at Acadia
Published Thursday, September 8, 2011 6:31PM EDT
HALIFAX - A 19-year-old student at a Nova Scotia university died in hospital Thursday, days after he was found unresponsive following a night of drinking in his residence.
RCMP Sgt. Brigdit Leger said police were notified Thursday afternoon that the Alberta teen died in hospital in Halifax after being rushed there Tuesday.
She wouldn't confirm when he died, but said he had been kept on life-support until his organs could be donated for transplant.
The man, who was not identified at the request of his family, was found in his dorm room at Acadia University in Wolfville early Thursday morning.
University president Ray Ivany said the teen had been drinking alcohol, but couldn't say how much he had consumed or confirm reports that he was playing a drinking game.
"People are devastated. This is just not something that is expected," he said in an interview. "This issue of high-risk drinking has been a challenge for every college and for every community."
Ivany said the teen was found by one of the residence staff and his "condition deteriorated very quickly."
He said the university has policies in place on where people can drink on campus and procedures for monitoring students' activities in residence. He added that their policies were followed in this incident.
Ivany said he has spoken with the province's chief public health officer, who has agreed to help review the university's policies to see if they need to be revised.
A spokeswoman with the provincial Health Department said Nova Scotia has one of the highest rates of heavy drinking among young people in the country.
The Canadian Campus Survey in 2004 found that 51 per cent of students between 19 and 24 on Nova Scotia campuses were considered binge drinkers. The national average for the same group was 31 per cent.
The survey defines binge drinking as consuming more than five drinks in one sitting more than once a month for a man, and more than four drinks for a woman.
Leger said there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and an autopsy to determine the cause of death is scheduled for Friday.
Ivany said they were offering counselling to students and others on campus.