Concerning the alcohol issue-why not use a breathalyzer to triage the students? Although not as accurate as a blood alcohol level, it can be used to help determine which students need further medical attention. Signs and symptoms in acute alcohol intoxication are notoriously inaccurate.
<p>I'm sure that symptoms are imprecise in measuring alcohol poisoning. However, I would be very surprised if many college students go from walking and talking one minute to dead minutes later without an interim period of significant decline in consciousness, breathing, and vital signs.</p>
<p>Remember, the determination a college infirmary is making is not whether to continue observation of the student. The determination is whether to continue overnight observation of the student (for declining condition) at the Health Center or at the local hospital.</p>
<p>I suspect the determination is also based, in part, on information about how much alcohol the drunk has consumed in the last hour or so as that would impact whether the condition would be likely to stabilize and improve or worsen.</p>