The statistics are staggering. Stroke, also known as cardiovascular accident or CVA, affects 750,000 people annually and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Of the 4 million stroke survivors, 90% have some type of deficit or disability. In a medical emergency where every minute lost in treating a stroke could negatively impact the patients outcome, immediate expert collaboration and intervention can help preserve brain function and prevent disability.
That direct impact on patients and families led Barnesville Hospital to begin a stroke collaborative with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) in May 2011. OSUWMC, with a neurology and neurosurgery program ranked by U.S. News & World Report magazine as among the best in the country, is nationally accredited by the Joint Commission as a primary stroke center. Through the use of a telestroke network, OSUWMC is able to extend its services to Barnesville Hospital in a hub and spoke arrangement. Emergency Department physicians have rapid access to board certified vascular neurologists who can provide real-time consultation using video equipment, CT scans, and a web-based software. When a patient presents to the Emergency Department with stroke-like symptoms, Barnesville Hospital staff initiate a stroke alert and immediately connect with OSU Wexner Medical Center vascular neurologists through the telemedicine link.
This telemedicine link became even stronger this year with the transition to InTouch, a telemedicine system utilized by over 60% of all telestroke networks. The improved technology is more lightweight, easier to move, and the improved camera allows for better communication between the OSUWMC neurologist and our patient, states Patrick Dunster, M.D., E.R. Director of Barnesville Hospital.
It is very important that you and your family become familiar with the potential signs and symptoms of stroke, according to Peggy Douglass, MS, RNC, Director of Education & Outreach. Learn the signs of stroke:
- Face – does the face look uneven
- Arm – does one arm drift down
- Speech – does their speech sound strange
The mission of Barnesville Hospital continues to be personalized, quality care, utilizing the latest in technology and the expertise of vascular neurologists at OSU Wexner Medical Center. Having these resources close to home can save valuable time in receiving necessary treatment. Time lost is brain lost. If you are interested in more information about the telestroke program or other services at Barnesville Hospital, contact Peggy Douglass, Director of Education & Outreach at (740) 425-5158 or visit the hospitals website at http://www.barnesvillehospital.com.