In the study, published today online in the journal Stroke,Georgetown University Medical Center researchers surveyed 253 community volunteers living in a predominantly black, urban area of Washington, D.C., about how they would handle stroke symptoms. Eighty-nine percent said that they would call 911 first.
When the researchers interviewed 100 patients hospitalized for stroke in the same geographical area, however, only half said they had arrived at the hospital by ambulance.
Almost half had delayed seeking medical help because they thought symptoms weren’t serious. Three-fourths called family or a friend.
“There’s a disconnect about knowing what to do and actually doing it in a real-life situation,” says Chelsea Kidwell, director of the Georgetown University Stroke Center.