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Friends of Stroke Victims Reluctant to Call 911

Hesitation in Calling for an Ambulance Could Delay Lifesaving Treatment

Reacting to Stroke Symptoms in a Friend or Relative continued...

The findings suggest that greater public awareness is needed about the warning signs of stroke, but also about what should be done when any of the signs are noticed.

"Respondents appear to be unaware of the advantages of EMS transport, and the fact that public health recommendations advise the use of EMS over private transport," Fussman says.

The study did not determine why people seem reluctant to call 911, even if they are aware of stroke warning signs. He says future research should look for possible reasons that might include embarrassment, denial, cost, and cultural views about calling for an ambulance.

"I don't think that a lack of stroke knowledge is the problem here," he says. "The problem is what people do with the knowledge they have."

The best option, he says, is calling 911 for emergency help.

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