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Paramedic Routing Preference for Alameda Hospital to End Wednesday

Documents obtained by Action Alameda News indicate that, effective Wednesday, December 1, 2010, Alameda County will terminate an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) policy that called for paramedics to take stroke victims in the city of Alameda to Alameda Hospital, even though the Hospital is not a certified stroke center. The change in policy has been confirmed by the Alameda County Health Services Agency.

The change comes following Action Alameda News reporting on a policy that has been in place at least since July of 2007, and one which Alameda Hospital has repeatedly fought to preserve. The long-standing policy was realized in an Alameda County EMS field manual, which directed paramedics to take stroke victims to a facility from a County-provided list of regional stroke center hospitals, except in the city of Alameda, where stroke victims were to be taken to Alameda Hospital, which does not have stroke center certification. According to Alameda County, six of the eleven hospitals in the county are certified stroke centers: Kaiser Oakland/Fremont, Summit Medical Center (Oakland), Alta Bates (Berkeley), Eden (Castro Valley), and Washington Hospital (Fremont).

In a joint press release issued by Alameda Hospital and the County Health Services Agency, provided to Action Alameda News late this evening, the two organizations indicated Alameda Hospital’s intent to become a certified stroke center within the next six months, at which point the EMS routing preference for Alameda Hospital may return to the County’s policy.

3 comments to Paramedic Routing Preference for Alameda Hospital to End Wednesday

  • If there are any personal injury lawyers out there, this may be a rich vein of lawsuits: for the past 3 years, Alameda paramedics and Alameda Hospital have been reducing your chance of recovering from a stroke by taking you to Alameda Hospital where you cannot be effectively treated, then transferring you to a stroke center, where you can be treated. And this exception was documented in the county EMS manual! Alameda Hospital may be dong the same sort of thing with cardiac patients. If anyone knows someone harmed by this care, there has never been a better time to seek redress. Go for it!

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  • elliott.gorelick

    Congratulations to Denis Lai who in less than one month from the publication of her Op-Ed in the Alameda Sun and at Action Alameda was able to effect a change that will help a lot of people. It belies the statements coming from the Hospital when the Alameda County medical people only had to take one look at the current protocol to decide it was wrong.

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