IU Health Bedford Hospital

How Telestroke Technology is Improving Stroke Treatment

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July 06, 2018

Telestroke: Stroke diagnosis and treatment has moved into a new age with a direct and instantaneous visual connection between stroke victims and the neurologist who can diagnose and treat them. A stroke occurs when poor blood flow to the brain results in brain cell death. Fast recognition and treatment can be a matter of life and death.

“The quicker patients receive treatment for stroke, the less damaging and life-threatening it is. We’ve been able to utilize modern communications technology to greatly improve the speed and ability of physicians to diagnose and treat stroke, which helps prevent damage to the brain. No matter when or where strokes happen, quality treatment is close-at-hand thanks to telestroke,” said neurologist Ronnie Goswami, MD, Southern Indiana Physicians.

What it does

An inter-connected network of professional stroke caregivers, led by a highly-trained neurologist and specialty hardware, such as digital video cameras, internet communications, smartphones, tablets and even robots, ensures quick diagnosis and treatment for stroke.

How it works

When someone is suspected of having a stroke, the telestroke team puts their mobile devices to work and immediately connects the patient and physician in real time. The physician speaks to the stroke victim (when possible), evaluates their motor skills, views a scan, makes the diagnosis and prescribes treatment. This saves valuable minutes and reduces brain cells lost to stroke.

Where it’s used

Because communication devices have gone mobile, telestroke can be used from a physician’s office, in the emergency department and will eventually be used in the back of an ambulance on the way to a hospital.

Who benefits

Any victim of stroke can benefit from telestroke capabilities at IU Health South Central Region hospitals. Calling 911 as soon as stroke symptoms are recognized is an important first step.

F.A.S.T.

Save a life by acting F.A.S.T. If you suspect a stroke is occurring, remember this easy acronym:

  • F – Face. Look for facial changes or droop.
  • A – Arms. Have the person raise their arms out straight and look for weakness.
  • S – Speech. Listen for slurs or other difficulty speaking.
  • T – Time. Acting quickly is of the essence.

Call 911 to get the person to the hospital.

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Neurology

Neurology treats problems with the brain and spine such as seizure, brain tumor, head trauma or stroke.

Stroke

A condition where a blood clot or broken blood vessel interrupts the blood flow to the brain, resulting in brain cell loss, and loss of cognitive (thinking) and physical function.