FAIRFAX, Va., May 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, the Florida Legislature passed "CS/CS/SB 1460: Stroke Centers," a bill that will improve first responders' access to hospitals that provide thrombectomy, a move the Get Ahead of Stroke campaign says will help reduce disability and death, as well as lower the immense costs associated with long-term health care.
The bill is awaiting Governor Ronald DeSantis's signature and will take effect July 1, 2019.
Stroke is a leading cause of death in the state. Growing research shows, however, that severe stroke patients' outcomes can be significantly improved when they receive thrombectomy — a procedure that removes clots in the brain and restores blood flow. The new bill requires thrombectomy-capable stroke centers to provide location information to the statewide stroke registry, as well as requires Florida's Department of Health to send a list of thrombectomy-capable stroke centers to EMS.
"Severe stroke patients who receive thrombectomy leave the hospital sooner and are twice as likely to be independent within 90 days," said Dr. Adam S. Arthur, president of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS). "Florida is now part of the growing movement recognizing that patients deserve appropriate care by trained neurointerventionalists at high-volume stroke centers."
"In stroke care, minutes, if not seconds, count," said Senator Lauren Book (D-District 32), the bill's primary sponsor in the Florida Senate. "This legislation ensures that all Floridians have access to the latest innovations in the treatment of stroke, which I believe will lead to better health outcomes. I am honored to be a champion for stroke patients in Florida."
"This legislation will help ensure that every stroke patient in Florida — not just the lucky ones — are taken directly to the stroke center best equipped to treat them. Because of these changes, we will see more patients survive and thrive after stroke," said Dr. Guilherme Dabus, an interventional neuroradiologist in Miami and the secretary of SNIS.
Following the passage of a resolution in Virginia in February of this year, Florida joins a growing number of states across the country that are adopting changes in stroke care protocols. Both Ohio and Tennessee have passed bills improving the way first responders triage and transport severe stroke patients. In 2017, a stroke resolution was unanimously passed by the Colorado Legislature, and Arizona updated its state protocols.
In addition to Florida, the Get Ahead of Stroke campaign is currently focused on efforts to improve stroke care through policy changes in Massachusetts and New York.
To speak with Drs. Arthur or Dabus, please contact Kate Fink at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-248-5460.
Get Ahead of Stroke is a national public education and advocacy campaign designed to improve systems of care for stroke patients. Founded in 2016 by the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS), today the campaign is supported by a coalition of organizations with the goal of securing the best possible outcomes for stroke patients by driving policy change and public awareness nationwide.
SOURCE Get Ahead of Stroke