January 14, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 57  

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Students thwart asthma

To the Editor:
During my last Earth Sciences class before exams, I suddenly began to experience horrible pains in my chest and extreme difficulty breathing. The pressure was unbearable and I was completely unaware of what was going on. I went into the hall to call an ambulance, but before I could, I began to black out. I shoved my phone into a student’s hand and gasped “Call an ambulance!”

I don’t recall much of what happened, but I do remember there were several wonderful students who were put on the spot and assisted me during this horrible experience. Unfortunately, I don’t remember faces and I don’t have any names, but I sincerely want to thank everyone who aided me. I also want to express gratitude to the Student Emergency Response Team who arrived in less than two minutes. I have great respect for all of you — I felt like I was with true physicians in your care.

After a day in the hospital, it was concluded I had an asthma attack (my first), and I am comforted in knowing I was in heroic hands during this incident. I am so proud to be a part of such a great school with caring students and a one-of-a-kind response team. Once again, thank you to the boy who called 911 for me, and sorry for putting you on the spot. Many thanks to the girls who stayed and comforted me, and to SERT. I hope you all read this; your kindness and help will not be forgotten!

Angie Birgiolas
Science I

Java jive talkin’

Re: “Coffee has medical benefits: study,” Jan. 9, 2004

To the Editor:
It was good news to hear that drinking six cups of coffee a day can decrease the risk of developing diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, since Canadians drink over 15 billion cups of coffee a year (101 litres per person).
However, before you add increasing your coffee intake to your list of New Year’s resolutions, consider the nutritional recommendations for Canadians is to consume no more caffeine than the equivalent of four cups of regular coffee per day.

Caffeine is considered to be the world’s most widely used drug. It is a mild stimulant of the central nervous system and can be a source of addiction. In high quantities, caffeine can create a number of health concerns, including dehydration, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, upset stomach, inability to concentrate, altered calcium metabolism and an increase in blood pressure.

Drinking coffee can be a part of a healthy diet, but like all foods, enjoy it in moderation.

Christina Hutchinson
Honours Foods and Nutrition IV



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