London, Ontario – Approximately 50 per cent of people who think they’re having a stroke are making a grave mistake by driving themselves, or have someone else drive them, to the nearest emergency department instead of calling 911 – a choice that could impact their outcomes..
This means that of the approximately 1,500 people admitted each year with stroke in the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) area, 750 are unintentionally putting their opportunities for recovery at risk.
A new video released today reinforces the importance of calling 911 when signs of stroke emerge. Stroke patients and people at risk of stroke achieve the best outcomes if they are treated by practitioners with stroke expertise and experience. By calling 911, residents of the South West LHIN who experience a stroke will be assessed by paramedics and taken to a designated stroke centre so they can receive specialized care.
“With stroke, every minute counts to prevent further brain damage,” explains the Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network’s Co-medical Director Dr. Alexander Khaw. “That’s why it’s so important to save time by calling 911, so the paramedics can quickly take you to the right place for the right care.”
“No matter where you live, just call 911, and leave it up to the highly trained paramedics to get you to the nearest centre with stroke expertise,” says Jay Loosley, Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services.