Telestroke – Telemedicine Technology

Every minute counts when stroke, or brain attack, happens. In order to prevent further damage to the brain – or worse – it is crucial to act so treatment can begin.

Hanover Hospital is proud to offer Telestroke, a telemedicine system focused on diagnosing and treating stroke patients quickly. The system enables real-time communication with neurology experts at Penn State Milton S. Hershey’s (HMC) Stroke Center and access to advanced interventions.

Using Telestroke’s sophisticated computer system and webcam, Hershey Medical Center physicians provide consultation that includes examining the patient, reviewing scans and speaking to the patient and family in real-time. The physicians in the Hanover Hospital Emergency Department and at Hershey Medical Center then decide on the appropriate treatment.

The Telestroke computer is also able to send page alerts to HMC with a notification about the impending (or possibility of) transfer. With one click, the computer generates the order for a helicopter dispatch and for a bed assignment at Hershey. This means there are no delays as patients arrive at the Medical Center.

Telestroke technology benefits patients in numerous ways, most importantly, offering the speed that is critical for the best outcome. It also offers more treatment options for patients who may not qualify for tPA administration, including ‘wake up’ strokes – those stricken while sleeping, with no way to gauge the exact time of onset. The tPA drug works by dissolving clots and restoring blood flow, but must be given within 3 to 4-1/2 hours of the onset of symptoms. There are other reasons why a person might not qualify for tPA administration, so having access to other treatment options is crucial.

About 73% of stroke patients usually are able to remain here in Hanover, close to home and family, and do not require transfer for further care.

How to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke:

Time is Brain so act F.A.S.T.!

F = FACE: look for facial droop by asking the person to smile.

A = ARMS: ask the person to raise their arms. Does one side drift downward?

S = SPEECH: ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is the sentence repeated correctly, and does he/she understand what you are asking them to do?

T = TIME: if the person shows any of these symptoms, CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY!