Marketing Toolkit - Press Release Sample New Technology Gives Local Stroke Victims Time- Critical Access to Life-saving Treatment ABC Regional Medical Center is the first in Northwest Idaho to bring stroke victims access to life- saving drug using advanced Internet technology. Before today, if you lived in Rural County and had a severe stroke, you couldn’t get the care you needed at ABC Regional Medical Center. You’d have to be transferred to Tertiary Care Hospital in Metropolis , a 2-hour, $10,000 helicopter flight away. There you could be seen by stroke neurologists who could examine your condition and get you the treatment you need. Unfortunately, by the time you got to Tertiary Care Hospital, it might be too late to get a clot-busting drug called tPA, the only FDA-approved drug for victims of ischemic stroke, which accounts for 80% of strokes. The problem is that tPA must be given with the first 4 ½ hours of stroke onset. And if given to the wrong patient, it could kill them. By the time you noticed a problem, got to ABC, got diagnosed with a stroke, got transferred to Tertiary Care Hospital, and then got seen by the stroke specialist, you could be well outside the window for receiving tPA. So now, you’d be away from your family and friends, and your chances of death or long- term disability due to stroke would have increased. If only you could have had access to tPA when you were first diagnosed with stroke at ABC. Fortunately, a new technology called telestroke enables neurologists from TCH to be “virtually” in the room with the patient at ABC. Telestroke allows the neurologist to see the patient via video-conference, review their CT scans to see if they have an ischemic stroke, and guide the patient through a series of tests to determine the severity of stroke. At the end of the exam, which takes only 20 minutes, the physician can recommend whether the patient should get tPA. Now that ABC has linked up with TCH’s telestroke solution, more patients will be able to receive immediate care without leaving the ABC campus. "This is the only such technology in Northwest Idaho," hospital spokeswoman Jane Smith said. According to Smith, this is how the technology works: Within moments of a consultation request, a Metropolis neurologist can connect from his/her laptop to a mobile telestroke cart at ABC. The cart is equipped with a video-conferencing camera and computer workstation and moved to the patient’s room. The neurologist can consult with on-site staff, review the patient’s medical records, examine and talk directly to patients, and give orders and further instructions. "The physician has full control of the camera and its capabilities," she said. "An LCD screen atop the cart allows patients, family and staff to see the physician’s face in real time." "In stroke care," TCH neurologist and Telestroke Program Director Dr. Robert Jones said, "time lost is brain lost. Stroke treatments must be started within hours after patients develop symptoms." Smith added, "Now we have neurology coverage 24/7, 365 days a year, and are thrilled to bring this high level of time-critical care to the Rural County community."
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