We had a hearing on the stroke system of care bill at the end of June.
This bill establishes a tiered system of care that allows hospitals to choose to seek designation and be recognized as an Acute Ready Hospital, as a Primary Stroke Center or as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by a nationally recognized organization that provides center certification for stroke care. The bill does not mandate a hospital to select a specific designation it would encourage them to participate. Once the tiered system of care was put in place the Office of Emergency Services would need to be established, based on what was best for the region, protocols for a point of entry plan that would include plans for the triage and transport of acute stroke patients to the closest appropriate level of care within a specified timeframe of onset of symptoms. We know that quick and attentive care of a stroke victim is the key to determining the quality of the rest of their life. We know that the outcome of Stroke in large part on how and when the patient is treated. And the sooner, the better, since reducing the time between emergency department arrival and treatment improves each patient’s odds of a good outcome.
We had three survivors share their story.
Janet Wronski had a stroke almost 6 years ago at age 53. There were no warning signs and no symptoms! She is a stroke survivor, but would have considered herself a stroke victim had she not been brought to the proper hospital! Had she gone to another facility and sat in the emergency room for a couple of hours waiting for a diagnosis, then being shipped to another hospital, it could’ve been too late to expect a positive outcome. She is living proof that all hospitals and emergency providers should be stroke ready!
Joe Hennessey started to experience chest pains one night in October 2009. His wife called 911 and was taken to his local hospital. While in the Emergency Room he suffered a stroke. Thankfully the Hospital had just implemented a new “Telemedicine Program”. He knows how critical time can be and although this was classified as a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) things could have resulted in a much more negative outcome.
In 2014 Valerie Giglio was a healthy 42-year-old lawyer and professional singer when she suddenly suffered a stroke which left her totally paralyzed on her left side and stole her singing voice. She went to a local hospital, which sent her home. A few hours later, she had another stroke and was taken back to the same hospital where they didn’t quite know what to do with her, she was then transferred to a Boston hospital where she was treated properly, but it was too late for them to give me treatment that might have reversed her stroke symptoms and broke up the blood clot in her brain. So her life permanently changed forever. Had she received proper stroke treatment immediately, the outcome for her maybe would have different. Having a stroke system of care could save someone from a lifetime of disability or death.
We are working with the Committee to move the bill out quickly. We are hopeful that this could be the legislative session where we see this pass.