Stroke kills nearly 3,500 people in New Jersey every year and causes lifelong disabilities for thousands more. Patients who receive treatment in the first 3 hours after stroke symptoms appear have the best chance of not only surviving, but of resuming daily life with limited lingering problems.
Sadly, too many stroke patients do not receive timely care. They are left to wait in emergency rooms for hours, or taken to hospitals that are not equipped to treat their conditions wasting precious minutes and hours. As a stroke survivor, I believe that New Jersey stroke patients deserve better.
On February 27, the Senate Budget Committee voted yes on a bill that would improve the stroke system of care in New Jersey. It would ensure that hospitals that identify themselves as stroke centers have the necessary pieces in place to treat stroke patients in a timely manner. It would also ensure that EMS providers have protocols in place to identify a stroke and transport the patient to the appropriate facility in a timely manner.
I encourage the leadership of the Assembly to post this bill soon and members of the Assembly to vote in favor of it so that stroke patients receive the best care possible. Stroke won’t wait, neither should you.
Volunteer, American Heart Association and American Stroke Association
Monroe Township, NJ