VA, DC begin routing stroke patients to centers

In some states, ambulance crews who suspect that a patient is having a stroke are required to take the patient to a designated stroke center hospital (unless the closest is too far away). This happened first in Massachusetts, where officials came to realize that most hospitals were having trouble getting on-call specialists in place to treat stroke victims. The state created a stroke care system in 2004. Now, it looks like Virginia and the District of Columbia are moving this direction, too. In Virginia, Gov. Tim Kaine (D) already has signed a bill requiring ambulance crews to take stroke patients to Joint Commission-certified primary stroke centers. Meanwhile, DC's Fire and Emergency Medical Services soon will issue a rule requiring that District crews do the same.

To learn more about stroke transport in these states:
- read this Washington Post article (reg. req.)

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