Imperial focuses on Alcohol Awareness

[box] By Steve Tran [/box]

On the 22nd of January, Dr Mirza, Consultant in Emergency from West Middlesex returned to Imperial College to deliver another highly entertaining on Alcohol, and its effects on medicals students and our future patients.

Last yearís talk focussed very much on the effects of alcohol on the individual and how it affects your personal health. Although he did cover the topic of studentsí social lives and the importance of personal responsibility, such as serious advice on not leaving drinks unattended, even with a fellow drinker. The majority of this yearís talk was the growing concern that alcohol, also alluded to by Professor Nutt, to be one of the dangerous substances known to our society.

He mentioned that there was one Saturday post-take ward round where all of the A&E beds were occupied with patients that had all involved alcohol, one way or another. With around 1 in 2 A&E admissions involving alcohol, Dr Mirza tried to challenge our preconceptions about ëthe typical patientí. One student described a typical alcoholic as being a homeless elderly man drinking cans of Tennantís, however Dr Mirza suggests that these stereotypes are very far from the true picture. He states that the rise of the ìsilent middle classî is a major problem. These are the young housewives, who casually get through a glass or two of alcohol preparing a meal, then a couple more during a meal. This normally results in them finishing the rest of the bottle after a meal. These patients present for the first time in A&E vomiting blood several years down the line.

A memorable moment includes a first year confidently trying to convince to Dr Mirza that pregnancy was the worst sexually-transmitted infection out there.

This talk was organised as a part of ICSMSUís new monthly ëFocus Oní, a pilot scheme trying to tackle topical student welfare issues on a monthly basis. Behind this scheme is the creation of an ICSM student welfare campaign team which is open to all students to take control of one or several ëFocus Onís to tackle issues that need to be addressed.  As always, at ICSM we are very happy to hear about any successes at other medical schools in terms of welfare campaigns as this is a grassroots project and weíll appreciate any support/advice to help develop the scheme to its full potential. Please email:

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