Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed a bill that aims to help improve the way first responders triage and transport severe stroke patients across the state.

According to the Get Ahead of Stroke campaign, the new legislation—which takes effect spring 2019—could help reduce disability and death for stroke patients as well as lower the immense costs associated with long-term health care. Stroke is a leading cause of death in Ohio, the campaign notes in a media release.

The bill recommends the creation of written protocols for EMS personnel to assess, triage, and transport stroke patients to appropriate care. These protocols should include education for responders in how to identify severe stroke patients who are experiencing the blockage of a large blood vessel (an emergent large vessel occlusion, or ELVO). These patients are often eligible for neuroendovascular stroke surgery, which can decrease the likelihood of disability or death if performed early enough. The bill also clarifies comprehensive stroke center, primary stroke center, and acute stroke ready hospital designations.

“The goal of this legislation is to save lives and limit disability caused by strokes. From my personal experience, I am honored to have worked on such an important piece of legislation, and I thank my joint-sponsor Rep Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), the Get Ahead of Stroke campaign, and all other parties involved for their hard work on this bill,” says lead bill sponsor Rep Scott Lipps (R-Franklin), in the release.

“New protocols for EMS will help ensure every stroke patient—not just the lucky ones—is triaged properly in the field, and that those suspected of severe stroke are taken directly to centers staffed by neurointerventionalists who have the best training and most experience,” states Dr Adam S. Arthur, president of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS).

With the signing of the new legislation, Ohio joins a growing number of states working to save the lives of stroke patients, the release continues.

Earlier this year, Tennessee passed a bill that improves the way first responders triage and transport severe stroke patients across the state. Last year, a stroke resolution was unanimously passed by the Colorado Legislature and Arizona updated state protocols. The Get Ahead of Stroke campaign is currently focused on efforts to improve stroke care through policy changes in Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia.

Get Ahead of Stroke, an initiative of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS), aims to secure the best possible outcomes for stroke patients by driving policy change and public awareness nationwide.

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