IL may set up network of stroke centers

Illinois is well on the way to passing a bill that would create a network of hospitals specializing in stroke treatment. The bill, which is headed for Gov. Pat Quinn, would allow ambulances to bypass the closest hospital, if need be, and take patients to the specialist facility.

The new system, if enacted, would be modeled on the way emergency care is handled for people with other forms of trauma. Usually, in those cases, ambulances take such patients to hospitals with specialized trauma units rather than the closest emergency department.

Hospitals that are named as stroke centers are much better at rapidly offering the appropriate treatment, which can make a life-or-death difference for patients whose brain cells are dying moment by moment.  In other states, creating stroke centers has dramatically improved the use of a critical clot-busting drug, tPA.

To learn more about the state's plans:
- read this Chicago Tribune piece

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