Rome hospital joins Upstate’s Telestroke Network

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Rome Memorial Hospital has begun participating in the Telestroke Network to remotely consult stroke specialists at Upstate University Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center in Syracuse to aid in the assessment and care of patients who may be experiencing a stroke.

When a patient arrives at the Emergency Department at Rome Memorial Hospital with symptoms concerning for stroke, Rome Memorial staff can now consult with an Upstate stroke specialist and 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 crucial steps in improving outcomes for patients suffering a stroke.

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

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 soon 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 Rome Memorial, Upstate’s Telestroke Network now supports stroke care and diagnosis at 10 hospitals: 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 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.

“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,” said Rome Memorial Hospital Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Andrew Bushnell.

“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,” said Robert Corona, chief executive officer of Upstate University Hospital said.

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.

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