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‘Telestroke’ Care at Hospitals Is Bettering Affected person Outcomes

By Ernie Mundell and Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporters

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — You have had a stroke and arrive at a hospital, however the stroke specialist is off-duty. By no means concern: Telemedicine might assist save your life.

Particularly through the COVID-19 disaster, so-called ‘telestroke’ companies — the place well being employees use video to seek the advice of with a stroke specialist who could possibly be miles away — helps to result in higher affected person outcomes, new analysis exhibits.

“Our findings present essential proof that telestroke improves care and might save lives,” examine senior creator Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, affiliate professor of well being care coverage and of medication at Harvard Medical Faculty, stated in a college information launch.

The advantages of video-enhanced care are highest for rural Individuals, examine co-author Andrew Wilcock added, regardless that many rural hospitals aren’t but geared up for telestroke companies.

The findings “emphasize the necessity to handle the monetary limitations these smaller hospitals face in introducing telestroke,” stated Wilcock, who’s assistant professor of medication on the College of Vermont and a visiting fellow in well being care coverage at Harvard Medical Faculty.


Because the researchers defined, for sufferers with stroke signs, “time is mind.” That implies that they require fast professional evaluation and remedy to cease any mind injury and stop severe incapacity or dying.

However many hospitals do not have 24-hour stroke care groups. To make up for that, almost a 3rd of U.S. hospitals supply telemedicine consults with stroke specialists at different services, typically a whole lot of miles away.

How a lot does it assist? To search out out, the Harvard staff in contrast outcomes and 30-day survival amongst 150,000 stroke sufferers handled at greater than 1,200 U.S. hospitals. Half of the facilities supplied telestroke companies and half didn’t.

Sufferers at hospitals with telestroke acquired higher care and had been 4% extra more likely to be alive after 30 days than these at hospitals with out telestroke, the examine discovered. The most important advantages of stroke telecare had been evident at hospitals with the bottom affected person volumes and people in rural areas, in line with the examine printed on-line March 1 in JAMA Neurology.


The researchers additionally assessed using “reperfusion” remedies, by which blood stream is restored to areas of the mind affected by the stroke to forestall irreparable injury.

Charges of this remedy had been 13% greater amongst sufferers at hospitals with stroke telecare than amongst these at hospitals with out telestroke companies.

Two stroke specialists unconnected to the examine agreed that telestroke companies could be lifesaving.

The findings “affirm what a number of smaller research have proven: That delivering professional stroke neurological care by way of distant video know-how can enhance the variety of sufferers getting the brain-saving clot-busting remedies,” stated Dr. Salman Azhar, who directs stroke care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York Metropolis. “My sense is that this discovering could be extrapolated to underserved hospitals typically the place there’s a paucity of stroke specialists.”

Dr. Andrew Rogove is the top of stroke companies at South Shore College Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. He agreed that telestroke reduces sufferers’ odds for dying, however he famous that the examine inhabitants was comparatively older, about 79 years of age on common.


“It will be attention-grabbing to see how telemedicine for stroke would have an effect on the outcomes in a youthful inhabitants,” Rogove stated.

Extra info

The American Stroke Affiliation has extra on stroke remedy.

SOURCES: Salman Azhar, MD, director, stroke care, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York Metropolis; Andrew Rogove, MD, PhD, medical director, stroke companies, South Shore College Hospital, Bay Shore, N.Y; Harvard Medical Faculty, information launch, March 1, 2021

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