Calling 911


By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

In an emergency, call 911. But a researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine says some people don’t.

Comilla Sasson reviewed data on focus groups and interviews with people in primarily lower-income Latino neighborhoods in Denver. She says many Hispanics were reluctant to call 911 when someone had cardiac arrest because they didn’t understand how the system worked. She reported fear that police would show up and demand identification, and this carried over to paramedics:

“There’s a real misperception out there that if you don’t have ID, if you’re not willing to pay up front – which is what they have to do in Mexico – paramedics will not transport you to the hospital.”

The study in Annals of Emergency Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

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