Conemaugh Miners Medical Center has officially joined the Telestroke program introduced by Conemaugh Health System in 2016. The program helps save critical time for treatment of stroke patients.
Telestroke is a mobile telecommunications system that allows for quicker communication and connection from the physicians to patients when a stroke alert is activated in the emergency room.
The technology includes a secure, two-way audio/visual link between neurologists and emergency room physicians and nurses caring for stroke patients at remote locations.
“This technology allows us to speak directly to patients, medical staff and family members at a distant location to access critical information in real time,” says Dr. Todd Lynn, Director of Stroke Medicine at Conemaugh Memorial. “Neurologists, like myself, can complete an interview and examination of the patient to help us provide rapid, efficient triage and treatment for stroke patients.”
Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center is the “hub” where the neurologist is located 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Conemaugh Miners Medical Center joins Conemaugh Meyersdale and Conemaugh Nason Medical Centers as “spoke” sites where the stroke patient is located.
“Since we have implemented telestroke, there have been multiple patients that benefited from the program,” says Kristyn Croyle, MSN, ASB, RN, CCRN, PHRN, Nurse Educator for the Neuroscience Service Line. “Some received t-PA and had improved outcomes, while others weren’t candidates for t-PA, but received a continuum of stroke care. Patients that experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA) have an increased chance of suffering from a stroke within 1-3 month of the TIA.”
Each year 795,000 strokes occur in the United States. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability. Immediate treatment for stroke may minimize the long-term effects of a stroke. The only FDA approved treatment for ischemic strokes is tissue plasminogen activator (Alteplase or t-PA). t-PA works by dissolving the clot allowing blood to flow to the part of the brain behind deprived of blood flow. When given within 3 hours, t-PA may improve a person’s chances of recovering from a stroke. *
*National Stroke Association / www.stroke.org