Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Legislation about stroke centers can make a real difference

Where do you live? Where's the closest stroke center?

We've all seen lots of evidence that where you live has a lot to do with your health. Local diet. Cultural expectations about exercise. Access to healthy food choices. Access to places where you can safely take a walk.

And access to stroke centers, according to recent research showing how state stroke center laws have a real impact:
States with some of the highest percentage of acute care hospitals with designated stroke centers were Delaware (100%), Massachusetts (97%), New Jersey (96%), and Rhode Island (90%).
States with the lowest -- between 9% and 10% of acute hospitals designated PSCs -- included West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, and Vermont.
"Our findings are consistent with the known geographic variation in utilization of intravenous thrombolysis and stroke fatality rates across the United States," the researchers wrote. "It is notable that in the Northeast region, Massachusetts, a small and relatively densely populated state in which 97% of hospitals were PSCs, lies next to New Hampshire and Vermont, states in which only 12% and 7% of hospitals were PSCs."
Check out, too, this link to a list by state the number and percentage of stroke centers for each state.

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