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Awareness of Necessity to Call 9-1-1 for Stroke Symptoms, Upstate New York
  • Published Date:
    Mar 15 2008
  • Source:
    Prev Chronic Dis. 2008; 5(2).
Filetype[PDF-512.46 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in New York State. A New York study determined that only 19.9% of patients arrived at a designated stroke center within 3 hours of symptom onset. Yet, receiving treatment within 90 minutes of stroke symptom onset is optimal for improved outcomes. Delay in recognition of stroke symptoms and their severity contributes to treatment delay.


    A random-digit–dialed, list-assisted telephone survey about stroke knowledge was administered to 1789 adults aged 30 years or older in upstate New York in 2006. Bivariate and regression analysis were used to examine factors associated with intent to call 9-1-1 for symptoms of stroke.


    The largest proportion of respondents (72.4%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 69.9%–74.8%) reported they would call 9-1-1 if they noticed they or someone else had difficulty speaking, and the fewest (33.3%; 95% CI, 30.7%–36.0%) respondents reported they would call 9-1-1 for trouble seeing or double vision. Multivariate analysis found that those who had a history of delay in getting medical care in the past 6 months had decreased odds of intending to call 9-1-1 for stroke symptoms (difficulty speaking: adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.76; 95% CI, 0.58–1.00; trouble seeing: AOR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.53–0.91; facial droop: AOR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.65–1.11; arm weakness: AOR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.63–1.03). Age, education, and history of a stroke or heart event were not consistently associated with intent to call 9-1-1.


    Survey respondents do not interpret some stroke symptoms as urgent enough to activate the emergency medical system. History of delaying care is a behavioral pattern that influenced intent to call 9-1-1.

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