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Doctors call for text message test

A young person's ability to send a text message could be directly related to how ill they are, doctors have claimed.

Medical teams treating revellers at music festivals found that patients who were able to use their mobile phones to text their friends were usually well enough to leave the first aid tent.

Doctors working for the charity Festival Medical Services suggested in the British Medical Journal that the test could be used in A&E.

Dr Mike Sinclair, a retired consultant anaesthetist who works for the charity, told the BBC that once a festival-goer who had felt ill or fainted was better, they generally texted their friends to arrange to meet up.

The coordination required to send text messages was a sign their brain was working at a reasonable level, he said.

The test would be unsuitable for older people who are unaccustomed to sending text messages, he added.

Copyright © Press Association 2008

British Medical Journal