Faulty Advice from Hospital Healthlines

July 9, 2007

“Operators who staff hospital healthlines are often unable to recognize the symptoms of a stroke, investigators here found. When investigators called 46 such healthlines and described a standardized scripted stroke scenario, 10 operators (22%) recommended that the caller contact their primary care physician, instead of calling 9-1-1, according to a study reported in the July 5 issue of Stroke.

A quarter of the healthline operators could not identify a single stroke symptom and, in 18 cases, callers were transferred at least once.”

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