“Girls do not tend to get into fights; instead, they drink so much they pass out on the street or have panic attacks, where they totally lose control and hyperventilate.”An officer from Thames Valley Police added, “I’ve seen boys’ fights resulting in broken jaws and charges of GBR. As for girls, we have rape reports once or twice a month, and reports of sexual assault from females walking home alone at night are, sadly, a weekly occurrence.”The police officer explained that where possible, they try to avoid pressing charges because they do not wish to put students’ degrees and careers in jeopardy.The officer explained, “We don’t want to start criminalising. A lot of students are dealt with by a public disorder £80 fine; I give out about five of these a week.“We are encouraged to report all student incidents to the Internal Discipline Action Officer, who can pass the information on to the University. The funny thing is, the Colleges often have harsher punishments than we do.”At the John Radcliffe Hospital, the Sister in charge of the A&E ward, Hilary Wakey said, “Students expect us to babysit for their drunken friends. They arrive in such a state.”“I’ve been spat at, verbally abused, and pushed “Sandra Treacher, Paramedic and Clinical Supervisor, explained the exasperation felt by her staff regarding the overuse of emergency facilities by students. “Once someone has dialled 999, we are legally obliged to answer their call. But half the time it’s just unnecessary, and they just want a jolly ride home.” Alcohol abuse among students, and use of the emergency services, has reached unprecedented levels in Oxford, a Cherwell investigation can reveal.Almost three quarters of Oxford students know someone who had to go to hospital due to excessive alcohol consumption. Many feel their degree suffers on account of alcohol abuse, and 71% feel they drink too much.To uncover the pervasive student drinking culture, Cherwell spent a night shift with paramedics on an ambulance stationed in Oxford. The evening exposed the real emergencies that the paramedics and their teams deal with, outside the bubble of student life.James Keating-Wilkes, the Communications Manager of the South Central Ambulance Service explained, “Student alcohol abuse is a definite strain on ambulances. It takes resources which could be deployed to genuine medical emergencies.“There is ubiquitous alcohol use among young people. Things seem to have changed. Young people today don’t think they’ve had a good night unless they’ve passed out.”Most alcohol related incidents are classified as A8, the highest level of emergency that must be responded to within eight minutes.Overuse of the services is not the only problem. Abuse of ambulance personnel is just as common.Mike Medcraft, an Emergency Care Assistant said, “With drunks I have two rules: don’t throw up on my ambulance and don’t throw up on me. If they are violent I throw them out, simple. You’d be surprised at how many of us have been assaulted.”“I’ve been spat at, verbally abused, and pushed. Of course, students got drunk in my youth too, but we always got home ourselves. It’s the mentality of youth that has changed; now people call an ambulance at the drop of a hat,” explained an Ambulance Technician with 22 years of experience.There are differences in the typical behaviour of intoxicated male and female students. Jones said, “Violence and aggression is common among boys. The other night there was a fight involving some Philosophy and Law students on George Street, outside a kebab van. One boy was punched so hard that his cheek bone was pushed in and his eyeball pushed up- I couldn’t believe a punch could actually do that. Hope Jones, Emergency Care Assistant, echoed her colleague’s sentiments. “On the one hand we get an eighty year old woman who had collapsed but does not call an ambulance, because she does not want to put anyone to trouble. And on the other hand, we get students who use us as a taxi service. If it’s not an emergency, they should make their own way to hospital in a taxi. It’s terrible when you have to start stacking emergency calls.”Towards the end of Cherwell’s night on the ambulance, the paramedics were called to Cowley, where an Oxford Brookes student lay passed out on the road, his face covered in blood and mud.The co-driver of the OUSU Safety Bus had spotted him there. His friend and housemate, Michael Barringder, accompanied him to hospital in the ambulance. He said, “We saw him when we came out of the Maccabees. He was really drunk then, we should have taken him home. It was pretty irresponsible of us not to.”Back at the hospital, now approaching two a.m., twelve out of the fourteen patients in the waiting room were students who had somehow or other been embroiled in alcohol fuelled injuries.“Students expect us to babysit their friends”There was Annabel House, a Brookes student who had a stiletto heel go through her foot at Fuzzy Duck’s, and Dave Ashworth, another Brookes student whose friend’s drink had been spiked. A further two students were not able to identify themselves or what was wrong with them.Two Mansfield College boys had been caught up in a fight at Park End, where one had broken his nose.The issue is not whether students are more drunk than they were a generation or two ago, the NHS workers I met told me. The paramedics, the A&E staff and the police officers all object to the emergency services being used for a ride home rather than as a last resort, and the abuse they receive.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Dr. Lawrence Kanner, the chief of cardiology at Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside, is leading the hospital’s cardiac unit into a new era as it embarks on a journey to perform open-heart surgery for the first time.In a partnership with Mount Sinai Heart, which was ranked No. 6 nationally for cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report, work is slated to begin in the spring on a new four-story addition that will include nine new operating suites specifically designed for open-heart surgery, pending health department approval.This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.What inspired you to focus your medical practice on the heart? The thing about cardiology is — especially procedural cardiology — is that not only can you get the immediate gratification of fixing something but you also frequently have long-term relationships. I don’t know why anyone would do anything else. I get the best of both worlds. I get to fix things and make people feel better right away. Can you tell me about the advancements in preventing, detecting, and treating heart disease that you’ve seen? In the last 15 to 20 years, statins, the anticholesterol drugs, have had a huge effect on how we manage coronary disease. They have been demonstrated to show plaque regression so you can actually have blockages and then go on high doses of statin therapy, like Lipitor or Crestor, so that you can actually reverse coronary disease with medicines. In terms of intervention, much of the research has gone toward stents. They came out with drugs that were coated with a drug that inhibited the progression of scar tissue. The number of open-heart surgeries for bypass that are being done really tanked after that because many patients can be managed in the cath lab. In my area, defibrillators have made a huge difference. Twenty-five years ago patients died when they were outside of a heart attack. Many of those patients went on to have a sudden death afterwards. Now we have very well-established guidelines on how to approach a patient who has a weak heart muscle after a heart attack, and many of these patients get seen years after their defibrillator is put in.What issues have you faced in ushering some of these advancements into practice? Sometimes there’s intolerance toward medications or patients’ ability to afford medications sometimes comes into play. In terms of device implantation for defibrillators, there are patients who are not good candidates based on the fact they have not been optimized on their medication. And there are still many people in the community who aren’t seeing doctors regularly.What can the public do to mitigate their risk? The only thing that a person can’t do is change their genes. If you have early disease in your family, that’s one thing that can’t be changed. Smoking is No. 1. There’s nothing good that smoking does. Good control of diabetes is another one. Very aggressive control of sugar. Weight reduction, when appropriate. And making sure when you hit those adult years, 40 years-plus, that you’re seeing your primary care physician regularly. How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your work? We have a general feeling for how many heart attacks we see on a monthly basis and it kind of dropped off somewhat during Covid. And it’s not because Covid was protecting against getting a heart attack. Those people did not seek care. Is there anything on the horizon that has you excited about how we treat patients next? The main thrust in our area now has been the management of atrial fibrillation. AFib is the most common heart rhythm disorder in the country and has certain morbidities associated with it. And one of the main growth areas has been ablation of aFib where we electrically isolate the areas of the heart that are causing atrial fibrillation. Anything else you want to add? We’re going to be developing an open-heart program here at Mount Sinai South Nassau. In 2006 we were the first hospitals to do an angioplasty in a hospital that didn’t have cardiac surgery on-site. We were the first hospital in New York State to do that. The program then grew and we developed a very successful cardiology program. We don’t do open-heart surgery here yet. That is one of the technologies we’re going to be growing over the next several years under Mount Sinai Heart.Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.