The Florida Legislature recently passed “CS/CS/SB 1460: Stroke Centers,” legislation that aims to improve first responders’ access to hospitals that provide thrombectomy. Once signed by Governor Ronald DeSantis, it will take effect July 1, 2019.

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.

Passage of the bill will help reduce disability and death from stroke, as well as lower the immense costs associated with long-term health care, according to a media release from Get Ahead of Stroke.

Get Ahead of Stroke, founded in 2016 by the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS), is a national public education and advocacy campaign designed to improve systems of care for stroke patients.

“Severe stroke patients who receive thrombectomy leave the hospital sooner and are twice as likely to be independent within 90 days,” says SNIS President Dr Adam S. Arthur.

“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,” adds Dr Guilherme Dabus, an interventional neuroradiologist in Miami and the secretary of SNIS.

“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,” states Senator Lauren Book (D-District 32), the bill’s primary sponsor in the Florida Senate, the release continues.

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, the release explains.

[Source(s): Get Ahead of Stroke, PR Newswire]