Embargoed for release at 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013
DALLAS, Aug. 29, 2013 — Several key elements in systems of care can reduce stroke deaths and disabilities, according to a new American Heart Association/American Stroke Association policy statement published in its journal Stroke.
Stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, every 4 minutes someone dies of a stroke.
The policy statement addresses patients’ care from the time stroke symptoms are identified, to the emergency medical services’ (EMS) response, to the transport and treatment in the hospital and rehabilitation.
The association also calls for patients to have access to post-stroke care, including rehabilitation and nursing services, regardless of their financial status or socio-economic background.
Authors of the statement also address issues related to adequate reimbursement for stroke treatment and care and the need for quality improvement and public reporting initiatives.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has long supported and helped develop stroke systems of care. Public awareness and patient resources include the F.A.S.T. campaign and the Together to End Stroke program. The association certifies stroke centers and provides many quality improvement tools for healthcare providers and resources to help people learn more about stroke hospitals in their communities.
Information on the statement authors and disclosures are on the manuscript.
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For stroke science, follow Stroke at @StrokeAHA_ASA.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the association’s science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding