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School curbs 'passing out' game

Oct. 27, 2009 at 2:31 PM

HART, Conn., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- A Connecticut high school boy who played a hyperventilation "passing out game" prompted the school to publicize the incident, school administrators said.

A video discovered by a physical education teacher showed three students watching as a fourth bent over, held his breath and hyperventilated until he apparently lost consciousness, said officials at Conard High School in Hartford, Conn., the Hartford Courant reported Tuesday.

The boy was uninjured, but the practice could have a myriad of health consequences, including death, the newspaper reported.

After talking with students, it seemed the game had been going on at parties for at least a week, said the school's principal, Tom Moore,

Under Moore's direction, Conard teachers spoke to their classes during the last period of the day about the dangers of the game to get the point across before the beginning of the weekend, the newspaper reported

"You have a whole lot of factors here that are working against some good judgment, even in the best kids," Hann said. "I think it's important that parents -- all of us -- are aware of the signs of these problems," West Hartford's Bridge Family Center executive director Margaret Hann said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said since 1995 at least 82 youth deaths likely have been caused by the game. The game can include using a rope or one's hands to choke oneself to achieve a brief, "euphoric" high while passing out. Eighty-seven percent of the victims were boys.

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