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Improve Stroke Response and Treatment

Ask your state legislators to help save lives and give stroke survivors a chance at a better recovery

Legislation has been introduced in your state that would establish or improve a statewide stroke system of care. This system is designed to decrease the time it takes to diagnose a stroke patient and transport him or her to an appropriate healthcare facility for treatment. It can save lives and reduce the impact of stroke on residents of your state. A stroke system of care has many elements, including:

  • Classifying and recognizing healthcare facilities that have additional training and knowledge about stroke so that emergency medical personnel can transport stroke patients to these facilities when possible;
  • Establishing a system for measuring, reporting and monitoring stroke care performance through data collection and the creation of a stroke database, or registry, to help facilities improve stroke care in the future; and
  • Educating emergency medical personnel about stroke so patients can be diagnosed more quickly and transported to an appropriate healthcare facility.

How could this improve the lives of stroke patients and survivors? Every minute counts when someone is having a stroke. With early diagnosis and timely treatment, the prognosis and recovery rate from a stroke is vastly improved. Thus, getting a patient to a facility trained to handle stroke can mean the difference between life and death, and it can also help minimize the challenges survivors face after a stroke.

Click the Take Action button at the bottom of this page to send your state legislators the message shown below. Even though the message begins Dear [Representative/Senator], the names of your state legislators will be automatically filled in before the message is delivered to them.

>> Need help? This short video will show you how to send the following message to your legislators.

Recipients

  • Your State Senator or Senators
  • Your State Representative or Representatives

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Message

Improve Stroke Response and Treatment

Dear [Representative/Senator],

I am writing to ask you to support legislation that would establish or improve a statewide stroke system of care. This is important because a strong system of care can save lives and reduce the impact of stroke on residents of our state.

It's important to know that time is critical when someone is having a stroke. A stroke is a brain attack that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. Since oxygen is carried in the blood, a stroke deprives brain cells of oxygen. Without oxygen, brain cells begin to die. The impact on the stroke survivor depends on what part of the brain is deprived of oxygen and for how long. Also, with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, the prognosis and recovery rate from a stroke is vastly improved.

A stroke system of care includes many elements designed to decrease the time it takes to diagnose a stroke patient and transport that patient to an appropriate healthcare facility for treatment. Some of these elements are:

Designating facilities--Classifying and recognizing healthcare facilities that have additional training and knowledge about stroke so that emergency medical personnel can transport stroke patients to these facilities when possible;

Developing a stroke registry--Establishing a system for measuring, reporting and monitoring stroke care performance through data collection and the creation of a stroke database, or registry, to help facilities improve stroke care in the future; and

Stroke training--Educating emergency medical personnel about stroke so patients can be diagnosed more quickly and transported to an appropriate healthcare facility.

A strong stroke system of care can make a big difference--for both the patient and our state's healthcare system. It can give patients a better chance of survival and a better quality of life after a stroke. Improved recoveries can also mean that patients will require fewer healthcare and disability services over the long term. For these reasons, I stand with National Stroke Association in asking you to support legislation to establish or improve a stroke system of care in our state.

Thank you,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]