We are happy to announce the Stroke System of Care Act became official law in Washington, DC on March 10, 2015! This important law establishes a coordinated system of care for stroke patients by:
!!! Recognizing three tiers of stroke facilities – Comprehensive, Primary, and Acute Stroke Ready
!!! Requiring EMS authorities to develop and implement transport protocols for acute stroke patients
!!! Requiring creation of a centralized stroke registry where all facilities will report data
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in DC. While not all strokes are the same, they do have one thing in common: the race against time. The moment a stroke hits, the clock starts. Each minute a stroke patient is left untreated, two million brain cells die. This destruction of brain cells contributes to disability including paralysis, memory loss, vision and speech impairment, and sometimes death.
Since every stroke patient is different, it’s essential that government, hospitals, and emergency responders work together to coordinate care. Pre-hospital care protocols including assessment, treatment, and transport of stroke patients, will be implemented to ensure patients are taken to the hospital with the best available care, not necessarily the closest. In doing this, stroke patients will receive the best care at the right hospital. A registry will be established to evaluate care, enhance quality, and improve outcomes.
The American Heart Association thanks hundreds of its You’re the Cure advocates for working so hard to make this law happen. Special thanks to Dr. Amie Hsia, Dr. Richard Benson, and Survivor Lori Greene.
The American Heart Association supports policies that improve health and wellness in Washington, DC. Learn more about advocating with You’re the Cure and how you can make a real difference.
<Thanks to YTC intern Kassie Crook for development of this blog post>