TOWA CITY, Iowa--While many campuses are trying to concoct ways to mitigate their fiscal crises, the University of Iowa is facing a small epidemic of students who have to have quarters removed from their digestive tracts.
Over the last six months, Iowa City's University Hospital has treated 15 to 20 students who had been playing "Quarters," a drinking game, according to Dr. Robert Hageman, the College Press Service reported recently.
The game, Hageman says, consists of "a bunch of people sitting round a table drinking beer, and trying to fling quarters into the mugs. When someone gets a quarter into a beer, he can either drink it or choose someone else who has to. The person elected must chug the beer and catch the quarter in his teeth."
Some students have also been hurt playing a game in which a participant lights the alcohol in a drink on fire, and then tries to gulp it down without getting burned.
Hageman worries that some people might start using smaller coins to make the game safer, but he warns that "a smaller coin would he the perfect size to lodge in the airway at the back of the throat" and cause death quickly.