As emergency room paramedic
"Can you tell me what's going on?" Makki asked the patient, his face appearing on the monitor.
"I was watching TV and I went to lift my drink and I dropped it," McArdle responded. "It was like I just couldn't hold it anymore."
Makki asked about the history of her symptoms and followed up with a physical investigation, requesting McArdle to lift her limbs and make a facial expression. Had McArdle's problems been real, it's possible McArdle's life and mobility could have been saved.
With its use of telemedicine -- technology that provides medical services and the exchange of medical information to remote areas --
The hospital recently entered into clinical affiliation agreements with Doctor's
"It is a tool that will become even more prevalent," said
For instance, a neurosurgeon at
"We're always afraid with such a remote communication that something will fall through the cracks," Makki said. "But this system was built specifically around stroke care, and hence, incorporates all details that are needed."
When t-PA, a powerful blood thinner, became the treatment of choice for stroke, giving patients access to the treatment was crucial. Doctors said the medication has to be issued within 4 1/2 hours of a stroke in order to minimize damage.
"When research was done on that treatment," Makki said, "time was discovered to be the most important factor in intervention. So the earlier you intervene, the better the outcome is."
Stroke, caused when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain ruptures or is blocked, is the number four cause of death and the leading cause of disability, according to the
"Stroke is a brain attack," Elzawahry said. "People need to be aware of the symptoms and the need to get immediate care."
The hospital has had telestroke for about two weeks, officials said. Though data is not readily available on the impact of telemedicine at the hospital, Long said with universal health care becoming law,
Check back Tuesday morning for video
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