Dahl seeks to raise awareness of RSDS
Painful disease impacts 500,000 Americans
SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Gary Dahl, R-Granville, is introducing legislation to promote public awareness and prevention of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, a painful neurological disease.
Senate Bill 1535 establishes the RSDS Education Program to raise awareness and stress early detection, diagnosis and treatment.
The disease impacts more than 500,000 Americans. Symptoms include burning pain, changes to bones and skin, tissue swelling and extreme sensitivity to touch that, if untreated, results in permanent deformity and chronic pain.
Dahl sponsored the measure after Bea Danko, a Streator resident who suffers from RSDS, asked his help in having state government raise public awareness of the syndrome.
“I attended a RSDS support group meeting headed by Ms. Danko, and the stories I heard were chilling,” Dahl said. “Everyone told how the illness impacted their lives, and they were suffering physically and emotionally.
“It’s crucial we do more to raise awareness of RSDS, so we can help those who suffer from it and enhance early detection.”
SB 1535 also requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to work with health care providers and local health agencies to coordinate and promote professional education programs to educate doctors, nurses and other health specialists on how to best treat those with the syndrome.
The bill would allow the state to accept private gifts, grants and donations to help pay for the program.
“We have a long way to go in the battle against RSDS,” Dahl said. “The causes are still not known, and many health specialists aren’t familiar with the symptoms. It’s crucial we do more to educate patients and doctors alike on how to best diagnose and treat this serious condition.”
The Senate Public Health Committee sent the legislation Tuesday to its Subcommittee on Special Issues. Public Health Committee chairman, William Delgado, D-Chicago, told Dahl he would co-sponsor the legislation following Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget address later this month.
“I look forward to working with Sen. Delgado and both political parties to get this measure signed into law,” Dahl said. “It’s time to pass a common-sense measure that will go a long way toward helping people with this debilitating disease.”