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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 6, 2022 12:03 PM
From: Senator Elder A. Vogel, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Stroke Protocols in Pennsylvania
Soon, I will be re-introducing SB 1311 that will help to improve our state’s EMS triage and transport protocols for stroke, ensuring severe stroke patients get the timely and appropriate level of care they need to achieve the best possible outcome.
In 2017, Act 4 established a tiered designation system for hospitals to become certified as stroke centers based on their ability to treat stroke. The initial designations included: Comprehensive Stroke Center (Level 1), Primary Stroke Center (Level 2) and Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital (Level 3). The Department of Health has since adopted a fourth designation known as Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center (Level 2).
My legislation would update the state’s Basic Life Support (BLS) protocols to simply provide additional guidance for EMS when it comes to triaging and transporting patients afflicted with severe cases of stroke such as Emergent Large Vessel Occlusion (ELVO), the deadliest type of stroke, given the urgent need for lifesaving treatment to ensure the best outcome. It is guidance which mirrors the trauma model of care where patients in critical condition are transported by EMS directly to level 1 trauma centers.
“Time is brain” when it comes to ELVO, which is the result of a blood clot within an artery of the brain. As the clot restricts the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, up to two million brain cells are killed each minute, reducing the odds a patient will experience a full recovery. To ensure stroke patients afflicted with ELVO receive the timely treatment necessary to save their lives, they must be transported to a Comprehensive (Level 1) Stroke Center.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.