I commend the Iowa House and Senate for unanimously passing, and the governor for signing, legislation that is a critical first step in saving more Iowans from the devastation of stroke. This bill became a reality because of the leadership of Rep. Tyler Olson and Sen. Amanda Ragan and they should be applauded for their foresight and commitment to the health of Iowans.
Stroke cannot be ignored in Iowa. In 2008, we lost 1,685 people to our No. 3 killer. Furthermore, thousands of stroke survivors struggle daily with long-term disability.
Speed is critical for stroke treatment. For over five years, the Iowa State Stroke Task Force has worked to establish a statewide stroke EMS triage system that would streamline and accelerate how stroke patients are transported and treated, regardless of their location in Iowa.
This new legislation advocates for stakeholders to work collaboratively to create a plan to strengthen the stroke system of care in Iowa. Key elements of the plan would include a stroke triage system and a state stroke registry.
Ultimately, through implementation of the plan we have support to create, all Iowans will have access to quick and high-quality care if and when a stroke strikes a loved one.
Mark Young, M.D.
Chair of the Iowa State Stroke Task Force