Stroke Telemedicine at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

By: PennStateHershey

[ Music ] Penn State Hershey stroke center is really the main comprehensive stroke center for central Pennsylvania. Comprehensive stroke center doesn't just mean that we fulfill these requirements from the NHA, it means that we have really put together a true comprehensive program. That includes stroke prevention, stroke education, acute stroke management, rehabilitation and long term follow up for stroke. So, one of the problems with central Pennsylvania is it's a large geographic area and many small hospitals. Many of these hospitals are not able to offer optical stroke care.

They're not experienced in it; they're not comfortable giving drugs like intravenous TPA. So, TeleStroke allows us to communicate with those hospitals and help them through the decision process. When patients are presenting these hospitals it becomes critical to have acute stroke expertise, particularly in view of the fact that stroke is a time sensitive diagnosis and treatment. Once they, an outside hospital, recognizes that they have a stroke patient, they will activate the cart.

We will access our laptop and within several minutes, we have live direct audio, visual communication with the outside facility and it has a special tilt and zoom camera that allows great visual access to very fine points to include detail pupil exams, if you wanted close up face on views and particularly focusing on more subtle neurological stroke deficits. Our goal is to define, is it a stroke? How bad is the stroke? And within minutes make a decision on whether they would qualify for IV TPA, the clot buster for acute ischemic stroke and then also based on severity, should they be transferred to our facility if they're a really severe stroke and they require other treatment options. Many of these hospitals had never treated the patient with IV TPA and just within the first several months, had several of them they treated multiple patients and several with very good clinical outcomes. So Telemedicine has really been a great asset to the stroke program. It's one of the things that allows us really to provide optimal stroke care to a much larger region than we could otherwise do and that allows patients in the community to get these high end stroke services much faster. Lastly, I consider ourselves the pillar of the community in stroke care and as part of a regional stroke network; we hope to expand the level of care for all stroke patients within our network.

Stroke Telemedicine at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

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