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Area hospital joins OSU stroke network

September 23, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

CADIZ - Harrison Community Hospital has joined Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center stroke telemedicine network, bringing rapid access to advanced stroke care to the community, according to officials.

OSU's Wexner Medical Center is the hub for the stroke telemedicine network, which is funded by a $265,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Health.

When a suspected stroke patient arrives at the Harrison Community Hospital emergency department, a "stroke alert" is activated at both the OSU center and Harrison Community Hospital, which mobilizes a team of stroke experts who, through the use of telemetry and real-time testing and patient interview, can help the care team at Harrison Community Hospital determine the best treatment option for the patient, according to officials.

Article Photos

NEW HARDWARE — Dr. Sirapurapu Prasad, left, internal medicine physician at Harrison Community Hospital, and Kevin Milligan, assistant administrator at the hospital, show off some of the hardware they use as part of Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center’s stroke telemedicine network. -- Contributed

Research published in the Sept. 14, 2011, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that telestroke is cost-effective for rural hospitals that don't have a neurologist or stroke specialist on staff around the clock and provides greater access to the clot-busting treatment, tPA.

OSU's stroke team, which includes critical care physicians and vascular neurosurgeons, is available any time, day or night, officials said.

The window of time for successfully treating stroke victims is brief, usually less than three hours. Doctors believe the use of real-time technology will save more lives in rural areas of the state.

Terry M. Carson, FACHE, chief executive officer at Harrison Community Hospital said, "We are delighted to be able to introduce this quality program to the citizens of our community. To have access to advanced stroke technology in such a rural environment is a wonderful addition as we strive to bring medical upgrades to our area."

As a primary stroke center in the state, the OSU Wexner Medical Center was the first academic medical center in Ohio to go live with telestroke and the first health system in Ohio to extend its network beyond affiliate hospitals.

"Telestroke will allow us to bring the specialized stroke expertise to the bedside at Harrison Community Hospital in a fast and efficient way," said Dr. Michel Torbey, medical director of OSU's Wexner Medical Center's Neurovascular Stroke Center.

"By collaborating with other hospitals, we come together to offer the best system of care to a stroke patient," says Dr. Eric Sauvageau, surgical director of the Wexner Medical Center's Neurovascular Stroke Center.

"Cooperation among the hospitals allows stroke patients to be treated beyond the regular timeframe using advanced tools to dissolve or remove clots that cause stroke and reverse the symptoms."

OSU's Wexner Medical Center is a nationally certified stroke center as designated by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

In addition, OSU's neurology and neurosurgery program is ranked by U.S. News & World Report magazine as among the best in the country.

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