I spoke with AFD Chief Fisher; he said that in the last four months, the ambulances in Alameda city have taken every stroke victim to a Certified Stroke Center and will continue to do so.
Yet hospital CEO Deborah Stebbins said that the hospital has been treating both walk-in and paramedic-delivered stroke victims. And I’ve heard anecdotal stories that people do get taken by paramedics to Alameda Hospital for strokes.
Stebbins also said that the new Alameda County EMS protocol means they will be receiving stroke victims from paramedics whose event started 4+ hours prior. This makes no sense as Alameda Hospital can only treat with IV drugs, and those drugs are ineffective after 4 hours. What that means: if your stroke started 4+ hours ago, more than ever you need to get into a stroke center and not a regular emergency department like Alameda Hospital offers.
Isn’t it interesting that Stebbins 1. defended the substandard stroke protocols and the Alameda Hospital’s ability to compete (provide best care) with a Certified Stroke Center (medically impossible) and 2. misrepresented the facts around the new stroke protocol to make it sound like Alameda Hospital is still in the standing—medically speaking—to serve stroke victims when heading to Alameda Hospital–at/after 4 hours–is in our worst interest!
Stebbins is hired and led by the Alameda Hospital Board that we elected. Our only recourse is to demand better leadership of our elected officials. Our public and publicly-funded hospital should be serving us, optimizing healthcare for us!
We all need to start attending hospital meetings and speak at them—get our thoughts, opinions, and ideas onto the public record. They have been working in a vacuum and that doesn’t work well. Like the Mayor and City Council, the Alameda Hospital Board need our feedback, ideas, and concerns expressed to them so that they can better represent us.
The Alameda hospital board can also be emailed: