Making the Public Case for Prioritizing Transport to Comprehensive Stroke Centers

Trauma offers the ideal model, says Cleveland Clinic neurosurgeon

For patient triage and transport, let’s treat stroke like trauma.

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That’s the argument made by Mark Bain, MD, a neurosurgeon with Cleveland Clinic’s Cerebrovascular Center, in a recent opinion piece published by The Columbus Dispatch, the leading newspaper in Ohio’s capital city.

Dr. Bain cites the model of Level 1 trauma centers adopted by states and localities decades ago as a blueprint for how states should handle policy around emergency medical transport of patients with suspected stroke to the most appropriate care centers.

He argues that hospital designations and EMS protocols should be changed to facilitate transport of these patients directly to a Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, whenever possible, rather than simply the nearest hospital.

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While Dr. Bain’s article was prompted by consideration of specific legislation in Ohio, he notes that the vast majority of U.S. states currently have no EMS protocols for routing stroke patients to Comprehensive Stroke Centers.

If you practice in one of those states and want a model for how to effectively frame this argument for the general public in your community, check out Dr. Bain’s opinion article here.