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Lower Macungie Township Administration Building
3402 Brookside Road
Macungie, PA 18062
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Phone: (610) 965-9933
Fax: (610) 965-9174

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Topton Borough Hall
205 S Callowhill St.
Topton, PA 19562
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160A East Wing
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2134
Phone: (717) 787-1000
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Mackenzie, Health Care Officials to Advocate for Improved Stroke Care
10/18/2016
HARRISBURG – During a stroke, every second counts. The faster a patient receives proper treatment, the greater the prognosis for recovery. Legislation introduced by Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Berks/Lehigh) – House Bill 2350 – would bring Pennsylvania law into alignment with new federal emergency stroke care standards designed to tailor treatment for stroke victims based on the type and severity of stroke a patient is experiencing.

The Lehigh Valley Health Network hosted a news conference today at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest to urge passage of the Mackenzie measure. Joining Mackenzie to support House Bill 2350 were Dr. Brian Nester, president and chief executive officer of the Lehigh Valley Health Network; Dr. Darryn Shaff, chief of the Section of Interventional Neuroradiology; and Dr. Edgar Kenton, retired director of neurology for Geisinger Health System and member of the American Heart and Stroke Association’s Great Rivers Affiliate Board.

“Pennsylvania currently has a one-size-fits-all approach to emergency stroke response,” said Mackenzie. “New federal guidelines, created with significant input from the American Heart/Stroke Association, designate three levels of certified stroke centers to treat patients based on their individual needs.”

Currently, emergency responders are directed to transport stroke victims to the nearest “primary stroke center.” The guidelines, however, do not reflect that different hospitals have different equipment and physicians who specialize in certain types of stroke response. As a result, patients may have to be re-transported to a different facility. If the Mackenzie proposal is adopted, hospitals would be able to be certified in three separate categories, and emergency responders will be able to take patients to the closest facility that offers the level of stroke care required. Thus, transport time would be reduced and aggressive medical intervention could begin sooner.

The three levels of certification now recognized at the federal level are primary stroke centers, acute stroke-ready hospitals, and comprehensive stroke centers.

“This legislation will ensure all three tiers of stroke center certification are incorporated into existing law, and that the information is shared with emergency responders so patients can get to a stroke center in the shortest amount of time,” said Kenton.

"Representatives Mackenzie's bill is an important first step to getting the right patient to the right care at the right time,” added Shaff.

House Bill 2350 is currently in the House Health Committee.

For more information, please visit RepMackenzie.com.

Representative Ryan Mackenzie
134th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ryan Travis, 717.260.6335
rtravis@pahousegop.com
RepMackenzie.com / Facebook.com/RepMackenzie
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