AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Telemedicine Ambulance May Deliver Faster Stroke Care

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When experiencing a stroke, people who are brought to the hospital in an ambulance with a CT scanner and telemedicine capabilities are evaluated and treated nearly two times faster than people taken in a regular ambulance, according to this study. An ischemic stroke is the most common kind of stroke, when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain. It can often be treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA), a clot-busting drug, but the drug ideally should be given within four-and-a-half hours of the start of symptoms to improve chances of recovery. “The sooner someone is treated for stroke, the better chance they have for survival and an improved recovery,” said study author Muhammad S. Hussain, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, and member of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). “Telemedicine makes it possible for a neurologist to see a stroke patient, and possibly treat them, before they even arrive at the hospital.”

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