One in four people don’t know that an ambulance is needed for stroke victims

One in four people still don’t know that an ambulance is needed for a suspected stroke victim.

Research published online in Emergency Medicine Journal, looked at knowledge held by the general public when it comes to dialing 999 for an ambulance.

Whilst it was discovered that most people know when an ambulance is needed, fewer than one in three still don’t know when emergency services are not required.

A total of 150 people were asked if they would dial 999 for an ambulance when presented with 12 common scenarios.
Of these twelve, seven would not need the response of an ambulance.

Those taking part in the study included 68 with some first aid training, 37 with medical training and 45 with none.

If the respondents chose not to call an ambulance, they were questioned further on what other options they would pursue. This included seeking medical advice from another source, self-medication or doing nothing.

The situations respondents had to choose from included conditions such as being drunk, going into labour, suspected stroke and back pain.

Most participants would have correctly called an ambulance for the suspected heart attack, paracetamol overdose, suspected stroke, road traffic incident victim and possible meningitis.

But the one in four people who did not recognise that an ambulance needed to be called for a suspected stroke victim left researchers finding the results “concerning” and questioned the effectiveness of the governments 1999 FAST campaign.

The research,led by Dr Helen Kirkby at the University of Birmingham, concluded that more first aid training and guidance on when to call an ambulance would help cut costs and make sure ambulances were available to those who really needed them.