October 13, 2010 -
Clallam County residents facing a potential or actual ischemic stroke will now benefit from a recently formed partnership between the Swedish Neuroscience Institute TeleStroke Program and Olympic Medical Center.
As of October 7, the TeleStroke Program links Olympic Medical’s emergency medicine physicians to Swedish’s nationally recognized stroke team experts 24 hours a day, seven days a week through real-time, secure videoconferencing technology.
“We have excellent emergency medicine physicians who do a very good job of diagnosing stroke and initiating treatment. The TeleStroke program adds another level of opportunity for our stroke patients by giving access to neurology specialists, while eliminating or minimizing the need to travel to Seattle or Tacoma,” says Lorraine Wall, chief nursing officer, Olympic Medical Center.
Jefferson Healthcare in Port Townsend also has an agreement with Swedish for the state-of-the-art TeleStroke service.
About Ischemic Stroke
An ischemic stroke is a stroke associated with the blockage of a blood vessel that feeds areas of the brain. This type of stroke is normally due to a blood clot in an artery that feeds an area of brain with oxygen. When that is compromised, the affected area of brain starts to die. “The TeleStroke program helps us target this kind of stroke quickly and efficiently, providing improved opportunity for recovery for our patients,” says Wall.
How the Swedish TeleStroke Program Works
The Swedish Stroke Program hub is located on the Cherry Hill campus in Seattle. When a patient arrives in the emergency department at Olympic Medical Center with stroke symptoms, day or night, the Swedish stroke team is paged. Members of the team – which include a stroke team physician in coordination with a specially trained stroke nurse practitioner, physician assistant or registered nurse – can log in on their home or office computers to complete a TeleStroke examination and determine if a patient might qualify for available rescue therapies in an attempt to ‘stop’ the stroke. The most common rescue therapy that the stroke team would use is an FDA-approved medicine called tissue plasminogen activator or tPA. This medicine can reverse the devastating effects of stroke for some patients if it is administered within four and a half hours of the onset of a stroke. But the key to the successful use of tPA – or other clot-busting thrombolytic drugs – lies in the rapid and correct diagnosis because as every minute passes, more brain cells die if the blood clot causing the stroke is not destroyed (“Time is Brain”).
“Four Swedish campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard and Issaquah – are certified as Primary Stroke Centers by the Joint Commission,” said Tammy Cress, RN, Swedish’s Director of Telehealth. “TeleStroke is another important tool in our arsenal against the third leading cause of death in the United States and the number-one cause of adult disability.”
TeleStroke consultation also ensures that high quality, in-hospital and post-acute interventions are in place to prevent recurrent stroke and future disability.
SIDE BAR TEXT:
About 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds. Stroke kills more than 137,000 people a year. That's about 1 of every 18 deaths. It's the No. 3 cause of death behind diseases of the heart and cancer."
Watch for Signs of Stroke:
• WALK: Is the person’s balance off?
• TALK: Is the person’s speech slurred or face droopy?
• REACH: Is ONE side of the person’s face weak or numb?
• SEE: Is the person’s vision all or partly lost?
• FEEL: Is the person’s headache severe?
About Olympic Medical Center
Olympic Medical Center (Clallam County Public Hospital District No. 2) is a comprehensive, award-winning health care provider for more than 70,000 residents of Clallam County. It has served the community since its establishment on Nov. 1, 1951, and is governed by a seven-member, publicly elected board. OMC is a sole community hospital and rural referral center. It provides inpatient services at its 80-bed acute-care facility in Port Angeles, including a level-three trauma designated emergency department, surgical services, and labor and delivery. OMC’s outpatient services include cardiac,
imaging, physical therapy and rehabilitation, laboratory, sleep medicine, surgical services, home health, physician clinics and comprehensive regional cancer care at locations in Port Angeles and Sequim.
Established in 1910, Swedish has grown over the last 100 years to become the largest, most comprehensive non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area with 8,500 employees, 3,000-physicians and 1,200-volunteers. It is comprised of four hospital campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard and Edmonds – a freestanding emergency department and ambulatory care center in Issaquah, Swedish Visiting Nurse Services, and the Swedish Physician Division – a network of more than 40 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area. In fall 2009, Swedish broke ground on a new medical office building and hospital in the Issaquah Highlands, as well as an emergency department and medical office building in Ballard. More recently, Swedish announced plans to open freestanding emergency department and ambulatory care center facilities in Mill Creek and Redmond. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org and www.swedish100.org.
About the Swedish Neuroscience Institute
In 2004, Swedish expanded its neuroscience services by establishing the Swedish Neuroscience Institute. The team of leading neurosurgeons and other specialists have built a world-class institute dedicated solely to the treatment and advancement of neurological disorders for patients in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. Swedish/Cherry Hill has been designed as the hub for the Institute and has been upgraded with four state-of-the-art operating rooms featuring intra-operative MRI, CT scanning and neuro-interventional radiology capabilities; a renovated neuro intensive care unit; and a CyberKnife® facility for radiosurgical treatment of tumors throughout the body. SNI specializes in the research for and treatment of stroke; cerebral aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations; movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and tremors; brain tumors (including both malignant tumors and benign tumors such as meningiomas); neuro-endocrine disorders including pituitary tumors; epilepsy; child neurological disorders; neuro-ophthalmology; headaches; multiple sclerosis and many other neurological conditions and diseases. In each category, physicians from different specialties are brought together to provide a multi-disciplinary approach centered on providing top-notch patient care. For more information, visit www.swedish.org.