Wednesday June 5, 2019

Rome Memorial latest hospital to join Upstate's Telestroke Network

Rome facility can now tap into high-level expertise


    Rome Memorial Hospital is the latest health care facility to sign on to participate in the Telestroke Network at Upstate University Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center in Syracuse.

     

    Through its Telestroke Network, Upstate University Hospital is able to connect its stroke specialists with the medical staff at RMH — some 45 miles east of Syracuse — to aid in the assessment and care of patients at the Rome facility who may be experiencing a stroke.

     

    When a patient arrives at the emergency department at RMH with symptoms associated with stroke, staff can now consult with an Upstate stroke specialist. Within minutes, an established televideo conference connection allows stroke specialists to view the CT brain scan, examine the patient and talk with patients, families and physicians about early intervention and facilitating care. Both are crucial steps in improving outcomes for patients suffering a stroke.

     

    Since January, Upstate has consulted on four patients via the Telestroke Network.

     

    RMH Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Andrew Bushnell welcomes the partnership with Upstate on this initiative.

     

    “The ability to be part of Upstate University Hospital Stroke Center’s Telestroke Network provides our patients with high-quality stroke care from specialty stroke neurologists located at a tertiary care facility while at their community hospital,” Bushnell said.

     

    “The relationship with Rome Memorial Hospital in the care of stroke patients is precisely what the role is for the region’s only academic medical center,” said Robert Corona, chief executive officer of Upstate University Hospital “We have the expertise at our teaching hospital to provide the most advanced care.”

     

    “As the only academic medical center in this region it is imperative that we assist the hospitals in our area with the support they need,” Corona said. “Our Telestroke Network is a perfect example: It allows us to deliver stroke care without borders. And while we may be an hour’s drive from Rome, we can instantly connect our stroke experts with the Rome medical team to provide the patient with the best treatment possible.”

     

    Corona said the quick response using telestroke technology is important when treating possible stroke victims. “The ability to quickly diagnose and treat a stroke patient is paramount to ensuring a strong recovery,” he said.

     

    The standard protocol for ischemic (non-hemorrhagic) stroke treatment is intravenous tPA, a clot-busting drug that can provide maximum benefit to patients if administered within a short time after the appearance of the first signs of stroke. Quick action and administration of the drug can give to stroke patients the best chance at not only survival, but also functional recovery, which can mean a life with little or no disability.

     

    With the addition of RMH, Upstate’s Telestroke Network now supports stroke care and diagnosis at 10 hospitals across the region. They are Carthage Area Hospital, Carthage; Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Ogdensburg, Clifton-Fine Hospital, Star Lake, Cortland Regional Medical Center, Cortland; Lewis County General Hospital, Lowville; River Hospital, Alexandria Bay; Gouverneur Hospital, Gouverneur; Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown, and Upstate University Hospital Community Campus (formerly Community General Hospital) in Syracuse.

     

    Upstate is the region’s first Comprehensive Stroke Center as designated by DNV Healthcare, a national hospital accrediting body. Upstate is also designated by the New York State Department of Health as a primary stroke center. These designations represent the highest level of accredited stroke center designation available in New York.

     

    Remember the warning signs of stroke: FAST — F for face droop on one side; A for arm that drifts downward; S for speech that sounds slurred; T for time to call 911 now.