Starting on Wednesday, December 1st, the 500+ annual stroke victims in the City of Alameda will get to go to a certified stroke center where they belong!
The County EMS stroke transport preference (for Alameda Hospital) in the City of Alameda will be removed after tomorrow, 11/30. On December 1st, City of Alameda ambulances will finally have the same transport protocols for stroke victims as every other city in Alameda County and be required…to take stroke victims directly to the nearest certified stroke center. (This has GOT to be great for our paramedics’ morale! I cannot imagine what it was like not being allowed to insert a stroke victim into the specialized systems built just for strokes!)
What this means: beginning when a paramedic arrives on scene, a stroke victim in the City of Alameda will now be immediately cared for from within the specialized stroke systems (field through hospital) that optimize emergency response to stokes, from paramedic stabilization, communication with a base physician, on through to delivery into a stroke center and treatment there with the technology and disease expertise needed to treat every kind of stroke within minutes. What this does: protects the most brain cells as soon as possible. We all win here: future stroke victims and those that love them. YAY.
What is also means: the county EMS finally did their jobs. They stood up against Alameda Hospital CEO Deborah Stebbins and her board, the Alameda Healthcare District, who fought to retain substandard stroke protocols in our city. The county finally did what was right despite receiving no support from our county supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker who, rather than do her job of overseeing both the hospital district and the county EMS to protect county residents, stood blithely by.
YAY County EMS!!!!! Hooray! And again, HUGE shout-out to Mayor Beverly Johnson who got this topic discussed correctly and onto the public record: she shined the spotlight right on it. Interesting how no amount of logic and argument could change a thing, but a little bit of publicity exposing what was really going on and those responsible for EMS protocols perked up pretty quickly.
But let’s name names again. Why? There are those that were not embarrassed by what was exposed. They stood by their ground that making money was more important than allowing residents to receive the best care in a stroke emergency. Their names are, in order of the government hierarchy of responsibility: Alice Lai-Bitker, Lena Tam, Jordan Battani, Dr. Deutsch, Rob Bonta, Leah Williams, Michael McCormick, and Deborah Stebbins. For shame!