Southeastern Med to Implement Telestroke Network
Contact: Kelli Koch
CAMBRIDGE, Ohio, May 31, 2011 – Nearly 800,000 strokes occur annually in the United States. Beginning June 1, suspected stroke patients coming to the Emergency Department at Southeastern Med will have immediate access to board certified neurologists at The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus through a telestroke network.
The OSU Medical Center telestroke network uses videoconferencing technology that allows stroke neurologists at the OSU Medical Center to assist physicians at rural hospitals in the diagnosis of patients with a suspected stroke, as well as provide support in deciding on the best treatment options for the patient.
Southeastern Med’s Emergency Department is now equipped with a video camera system, phone and computer to connect with stroke neurologists at The OSU Medical Center. When a stroke occurs, time is critical. By establishing a telemedicine link, stroke specialists from OSU Medical Center can speak with physicians at Southeastern Med, review patient records and diagnostic results, perform a full examination and talk with family members to help determine the best course of treatment. The patient and family are also able to see and hear the OSU Medical Center stroke physician through the video link.
The OSU Medical Center telestroke network offers neurological services for three southeast Ohio hospitals – Barnesville Hospital, Coshocton County Memorial Hospital, and Southeastern Med. A $265,000 grant to OSU Medical Center from the Ohio Department of Health provided the equipment and training for staff at all three hospitals.
The OSU Medical Center is a nationally certified stroke center designated by The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). This certification recognizes the University Hospital as one of the select hospitals nationwide that meet the highest standards in quality and safety.
Identifying the signs of a stroke and getting treatment quickly can make the difference between full recovery and a lifetime of disability. The warning signs of stroke include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
“For stroke patients, time is brain,” said Terri Sabo, BSN, RNBC, chief nursing officer assistant at Southeastern Med. “If the patient seeks immediate medical attention, medication is available to prevent disability after a stroke. It’s very important to call 911 at the first sign of a stroke. EMS responders will notify the hospital of the possible stroke patient, and our Stroke Team will be ready upon the patient’s arrival to provide the best stroke care possible.”
If you or someone you are around experiences any of these symptoms, it’s important to quickly seek medical attention. For more information on stroke, please visit, www.stroke.org.