TeleStroke units improve stroke care in underserved areas
Using telecommunications to connect stroke experts to stroke patients in rural areas continued to improve and sustain stroke care, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.
This is the largest and longest evaluation of telemedicine for stroke and took place in rural Bavaria, Germany. With the tele-medical linked Stroke Units, patients in regional hospitals had around-the-clock access to consultations with vascular neurologists at stroke centers, including evaluation of brain imaging and patient examination via videoconferencing when needed.
Researchers reviewed the use of telemedicine for 10 years and found:
- The number of patients receiving the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for ischemic (clot-caused) stroke rose from 2.6 percent to 15.5 percent.
- The median time between a patient’s arrival at a regional hospital until tPA was administered fell from 80 minutes to 40 minutes; exceeding American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Target: Stroke” goal of treating at least 50 percent of patients within 60 minutes.
- The median time between onset of stroke symptoms and receiving tPA fell from 150 minutes to 120 minutes.
Read the article here: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-08-telestroke-underserved-areas.html