Stroke Advocates Lobby Lawmakers Ahead of Funnel Deadline Thursday

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Advocates for better stroke treatment in Iowa are celebrating a victory this week ahead of the first legislative “funnel” deadline.

Any bills not passed out of a House or Senate committee this week are considered “dead” for the remainder of the session. But for stroke treatment advocates, this week was a “win” as their proposed legislation made it out of its committee.

Volunteers with the American Heart Association attended the group’s annual “Stroke Lobby Day” at the State Capitol Thursday to talk to lawmakers about proposed legislation that would create a statewide system of care for stroke patients across Iowa hospitals, increasing training opportunities and protocols for EMS providers. One volunteer says the bill is important because victims of a stroke have to act fast to survive.

“We have a treatment for it, but it’s time dependent,” said Stephen Scheckel, a doctor. “If you don’t get to them within three hours, or sometimes, four and a half hours, there’s nothing we can do. Brain cells die at about 30,000 brain cells a second. That’s almost two million brain cells a minute. And, we all want to keep as many brain cells as we can, unless we can rapidly get people to a place where they can be treated, parts of their brain are going to die and they’re never going to come back.”

The bill will move forward in the Senate this session.