Doctors use video to connect with potential stroke victims en route to hospital
MANCHESTER — A new ambulance program that is the first of its kind in the Northeast will allow expert neurologists to assess potential stroke victims while they are en route to the hospital.
Catholic Medical Center and TeleSpecialists announced the TeleStroke ambulance program and demonstrated how the technology works.
With the TeleStroke Ambulance Program, as a probable stroke patient is transported to Catholic Medical Center, a TeleSpecialists Neurologist can see the patient via webcam and tablet and begin a neurological assessment, alerting Catholic Medical Center of their data before reaching the hospital. Once the patient is admitted, the same neurologist can also have continued access to the patient to ensure appropriate, uninterrupted care.
“Assessing patients as quickly as possible is vital in the treatment of those experiencing stroke-like symptoms,” TeleSpecialists CEO Nima Mowzoon said. “Once we receive the call, we can have a neurologist on screen, or this case a tablet, evaluating a patient within minutes. Now that we have access to patients in ambulances, this critical evaluation period can take place even faster.”
According to health experts, the first 60 minutes after someone exhibiting stroke symptoms arrives at the hospital are referred to as the “golden hour,” when appropriate treatment like tPA therapy can limit the side effects and potentially lasting damage of a stroke. By beginning the neurological assessment on the ambulance, the time it takes to get that patient brain-saving treatment is shortened.
"Catholic Medical Center is already recognized for excellence in stroke care, large in part because of the way we apply the latest technologies to delivering the best medicine,” Catholic Medical Center President & CEO Dr. Joseph Pepe said. “Our partnership with TeleSpecialists not only brings real-time expertise to the hospital with a state-of-the-art stroke program but now to potential patients in ambulances, before reaching our Emergency Department.”
Local ambulance company AMR, Goffstown Fire, and Peterborough Fire are currently participating in the TeleStroke Ambulance Program.