Do members of the British public know how to contact emergency medical services when abroad?
There is increased demand for emergency healthcare by the public when abroad. This study aimed to investigate adults' reported level of knowledge about how to contact emergency healthcare services while abroad. A street survey was administered at various times, over several days, to 554 members of the general public who had been abroad in the previous 18 months. Only 33.6% [95% confidence interval (29.6%-37.7%)] of respondents reported that they knew the emergency medical number for the country last visited. This did not differ by sex (34.2% males vs. 33% females). Those fluent in the language of the country last visited were more likely to report knowing the emergency number for that country (54%), compared with those who were not (24.8%) (P<0.001). It is concerning that the majority of the general public do not appear to know how to contact emergency medical services while abroad. More targeted health education campaigns that address this are needed. Copyright © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.