Posted on May 11, 2011

Blacks Suffering a Stroke Are More Likely to Call a Friend Than 911, Study Finds

Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2011


The study was published this week in the journal Stroke.

Researchers surveyed 253 volunteers in one urban community and asked them what they would do if they had a stroke. Eighty nine percent of respondents said they would first call 911.

But when the team interviewed 100 actual stroke patients (or their proxies) and asked what they did when their strokes occurred, only 12% reported calling 911 first. Most–75%–initially reacted to their symptoms by calling a friend or family member.

Many of these said they didn’t think their symptoms were serious or significant enough to warrant a call to 911, the researchers found. Some patients said they delayed calling for help because they didn’t think medical intervention could benefit them.


{snip} If a patient arrives at the hospital too late, he or she cannot receive treatments such as the medication tPA, which helps break up a blood clot, mitigating the long-term effects of the stroke.

In fact, blacks do receive tPA less often than whites do, study coauthors said.


[“Understanding Reasons for Delay in Seeking Acute Stroke Care in an Underserved Urban Population,” by Amie W. Hsia et al. can be downloaded as a PDF file here. The abstract is available on-line here.]