On Jan. 21, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that would improve the stroke system of care in New Jersey. The bill was passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature. The new law ensures that stroke centers are certified to ensure they have the pieces in place to treat stroke patients in a timely manner. It would also require EMS providers to have protocols in place to identify stroke and transport patients to the appropriate facility quickly.
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 three 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 and advocate for the American Heart Association, I believe that New Jersey stroke patients deserve better. This law will improve stroke care.
I thank the governor and all members of the Legislature who supported this law to ensure that stroke patients receive the best care possible.
For more information on stroke, visit stroke.org.
Volunteer, American Heart Association