Advocates push for more effective treatment for stroke patients

Stroke kills about 140,000 Americans each year, according to the CDC

BOSTON (WWLP) – Stroke was the number five killer of people in Massachusetts in 2015. The Get Ahead of Stroke advocacy group is taking action to change that.

The Get Ahead of Stroke campaign is calling on Massachusetts lawmakers to update stroke policies for World Stroke Awareness Day.

Legislative aids, residents and advocates heard from doctors and health care professionals who deal with care and response to strokes.

Advocates said first responders should bring patients to hospitals that can best treat stroke patients, including Baystate Medical Center.

They also want hospitals to be better equipped with proper technology and staff to help more people survive a stroke.

“A stroke for us is kind of, we need to get you to the hospital,” David Faunce of EMS explained. “There’s a few things we can do at EMS to help the hospital along when we get there, but for us it’s time sensitive to get somebody to a hospital.”

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would establish a statewide protocol for transport and treatment of stroke patients by EMS.