Pennsylvania lawmaker pushes stroke care law

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania lawmaker is pushing legislation that could help save lives.

State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie wants to improve the way stroke care is provided to patients.

With unanimous approval by the Senate and the House, new legislation is on its way to becoming law.

"The most important thing is that it's going to reduce the amount of time that an individual who has a stroke in terms of getting transported to the hospital that can provide the appropriate amount of care," Mackenzie said.

In 2012, a law was passed at the federal level to have one stroke center designation, but House Bill 23 is suggesting several levels of certified stroke centers for different types of strokes.

"Comprehensive stroke centers, primary stroke centers and acute stroke centers.  All of those need to be recognized in state law," Mackenzie said.

Before people were taken to the nearest center, but that didn't always mean the best care for that particular stroke.

Darryn Shaff is the chief of neurointerventional radiology at Lehigh Valley Health Network. He said the bill will also allow EMS to decide where to take the patient for the best treatment.

The bill is awaiting Governor Tom Wolf's signature.

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