Australian paramedics avoiding 'Who is the Prime Minister?' mental alertness question – because it's too confusing
Some paramedics reportedly no longer ask patients who Australia’s prime minister is as the question is now deemed too confusing to accurately assess sick or injured patients.
The question was previously used to assess a person’s mental alertness and memory, but with the high turnover of the top office in recent years the question is now being used less, the Courier Mail reports.
Queensland paramedic Greg Abood told the newspaper he chose to stop using the question about a year ago.
“We would ask patients that question because it gave us an idea of their conscious level and ability to recall events,” Mr Abood said.
“But the country’s prime ministers are changing so often, it’s no longer a good indication of their mental status.”
He claimed a patient had once responded “I haven’t watched the news today”, after being asked the question.
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said there were no guidelines on what questions to ask as different questions would be appropriate for people with different lifestyles or in different circumstances.
He said an assessment of a patient’s level of consciousness was more involved than simply the recollection of a name.