Today, state Senators Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Nathan H. Manning (R-Munson Township) announced the Senate's unanimous passage of Senate Bill 21. SB 21 would require the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services to develop statewide guidelines for the assessment, triage, and transport to hospitals of stroke patients in partnership with Ohio’s health leaders.
“This commonsense, non-prescriptive legislation passed the Senate Chamber and House Health Committee unanimously in the last General Assembly,” said Antonio. “I am pleased by the continued support this General Assembly and look forward to its quick passage in the House. With someone in the United States experiencing a stroke every 40 seconds, SB 21’s standardization will help save lives throughout the state.”
Senate Bill 21 builds on House Bill 464 from the 132nd General Assembly, which created a three-tiered designation system for hospitals based on their capabilities to treat strokes factoring in experience, training and caseload. Often, transferring a patient to the closest hospital can lead to them being transferred multiple times. This bill allows local EMS protocol to be flexible in order to transport the patient to the hospital that can best treat them.
“Promoting best practices, while still maintaining situationally dependent flexibility, is critical to protecting the health and safety of stroke patients who are being treated and transported,” said Manning. “This bipartisan legislation is one step closer to ensuring our first responders have the tools they need to save lives, without being overly prescriptive.”
The bill now heads to the Ohio House of Representatives for referral to a committee.