TeleStroke Network

TeleStroke Network

Stroke—When Minutes Matter

A new partnership with Northern Nevada Medical Center puts a brain specialist in the room in 3 minutes or less​.

Humboldt General Hospital can now provide a higher level of care to patients experiencing a stroke as part of a robotic telemedicine partnership with Northern Nevada Medical Center. The Telestroke Network gives HGH the resources of NNMC’s Primary Stroke Center and allows HGH physicians access to neurologists 24 hours a day, 365 days a year via a remote access robot.

Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death and the top cause of adult disability in the United States. Telestroke emphasizes speed. Because “time is brain” and brain is life, there is roughly a three-hour window from the time stroke symptoms appear until the window closes on administering tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), the best hope for busting the clots that otherwise can lead to permanent brain damage.

How does it work? When a patient with stroke symptoms arrives at Humboldt General Hospital, the Emergency Department team confirms the patient’s stroke symptoms and then calls Northern Nevada Medical Center, which pages the on-call TeleStroke physician. At Humboldt General, a nurse rolls the robot to the foot of the patient’s bed. The neurologist connects remotely to the robot via software on a workstation, a personal laptop or even an iPad. The physician can pan, zoom and tilt the robot’s camera to view the patient’s vital signs and charts, perform a full examination, and interact and converse with the patient, family members and medical care providers. The neurologist then makes a recommendation for treatment, which the ED team carries out.

The TeleStroke partnership allows more patients to stay in Winnemucca, closer to home and their families. Complex stroke cases are still transferred to larger medical centers, although the TeleStroke network will shave precious time off those protocols as well.

B.E. F.A.S.T. - Warning Signs of Possible Stroke

The initial signs of stroke may be difficult to recognize, but most strokes commonly include one or more of the following:

Balance

  • Sudden loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden dizziness or trouble walking

Eye

  • Sudden loss or vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden double vision

Face

  • Facial droop or uneven smile
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Arm

  • Arm (or leg) weakness or numbness in one or both limbs

Speech

  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden confusion

Time

  • Do not delay. Call 9-1-1 immediately

If you or someone around you experiences the signs of possible stroke, do not delay. Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible.