Advice on Stroke Provided by Pharmacies in the United States: Implications for Treatment and Care

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Abstract

Objectives

Studies have found that some health lines and physician’s offices have provided treatment advice other than “call 9-1-1 for an ambulance” to patients who present with a stroke scenario. We assessed the treatment advice given by selected pharmacies in the United States regarding stroke.

Methods

The investigators called 73 randomly selected pharmacies and informed respondents that the caller’s mother had experienced stroke-like symptoms several days earlier. Respondents were asked what should be done if the symptoms returned in the future and then debriefed on the deception afterward.

Results

Seventy-one of the 73 pharmacies participated and only 20% (95% confidence interval 12–30) of respondents gave the ideal advice “call 9-1-1 for an ambulance.”

Conclusions

One out of every five pharmacy respondents across the United States recommended advice other than calling emergency medical services for a potential stroke scenario.

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