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Emergency Care for Illinois Stroke Victims

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Emergency planners around Illinois must still work out the final details, but a law passed four years to give stroke patients better treatment could soon take effect.

Under the plan, someone suffering a stroke can be taken immediately to a hospital that meets standards for the treatment of strokes, and first responders will be allowed to bypass a local hospital.

“So what these new protocols will do is allow those EMT's, those paramedics, to take a probable stroke patient directly to a hospital that specializes in stroke care and thus give that patient a better chance at a better outcome,” said Alex Meixner of the American Heart Association

The legislature approved the law in 2009 but it’s taken four years for regulators and industry groups to finalize the details of carrying it out. 

Meixner also said the AHA would like lawmakers to establish a statewide stroke registry to keep tabs on how first responders and hospitals are performing in the treatment of strokes.

Harvest Public Media’s reporter in Springfield, Ill., comes to Harvest with a background of covering state government and rural issues. For the past eight years, Bill was general manager of public radio station WUIS in Springfield. Prior to that, he spent a decade as State Capitol bureau chief for Illinois Public Radio. During his time in the Illinois statehouse Bill won several awards including Best Investigative Reporter from the Associated Press and Best Statehouse Beat Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors in 2004. Bill also spent eight years as News Director at WIUM public radio in Macomb, Ill., and is a past president of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association.