Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

TeleStroke Units improve stroke care in underserved areas

Date:
August 21, 2014
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Using telecommunications to connect stroke experts to stroke patients in rural areas continued to improve and sustain stroke care, according to new research. With the tele-medical linked Stroke Units, patients in regional hospitals had around-the-clock access to consultations with vascular neurologists at stroke centers, including evaluation of brain imaging and patient examination via videoconferencing when needed.

Using telecommunications to connect stroke experts to stroke patients in rural areas continued to improve and sustain stroke care, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke.

Related Articles


This is the largest and longest evaluation of telemedicine for stroke and took place in rural Bavaria, Germany.

With the tele-medical linked Stroke Units, patients in regional hospitals had around-the-clock access to consultations with vascular neurologists at stroke centers, including evaluation of brain imaging and patient examination via videoconferencing when needed.

Researchers reviewed the use of telemedicine for 10 years and found:

  • The number of patients receiving the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for ischemic (clot-caused) stroke rose from 2.6 percent to 15.5 percent.
  • The median time between a patient's arrival at a regional hospital until tPA was administered fell from 80 minutes to 40 minutes; exceeding American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's "Target: Stroke" goal of treating at least 50 percent of patients within 60 minutes.
  • The median time between onset of stroke symptoms and receiving tPA fell from 150 minutes to 120 minutes.

"Cooperation within medical networks can be a huge benefit for patients. Telemedicine is a wonderful option to support the close cooperation of physicians from regional hospitals and tertiary stroke centers," said Peter Müller-Barna, M.D., lead author and consultant in the department of neurology at the Agatharied Hospital in Hausham, Germany.

In 2003, TeleStroke Units were introduced to 12 regional hospitals lacking neurology and neurosurgery departments in Bavaria, Germany. Telemedicine linked them with two neurological stroke centers with vascular neurologists and other neurological experts. By 2012, there were 15 TeleStroke Units that had provided 31,864 consultations.

Between the first year of implementation and the end of 2012, the percentage of patients with stroke or mini-stroke who were treated at hospitals with telemedicine units rose from 19 percent to 78 percent.

"This illustrates the growing acceptance of the TeleStroke Units by emergency services personnel and general physicians, and also by the population and their political representatives. Still, the goal should be closer to 100 percent and we are now setting up further units in administrative districts that lack one," Müller-Barna said.

"In my opinion, the improving thrombolysis rate and door-to-needle times can mostly be attributed to growing experience, practice and continuous quality management. The extended time window for thrombolysis also had an influence," Müller-Barna said.

The researchers also found from 2003 to 2012, the proportion of patients transferred to stroke centers from regional hospitals fell from 11.5 percent to 7 percent.

"Telemedicine can accelerate the emergency transfer of patients in need of neurosurgery. At the same time, it helps avoid unnecessary transfers because expert vascular neurologists are involved in remote patient assessment by video examination and the interpretation of CT scans," Müller-Barna said.

The benefits of TeleStroke Units should also be applicable in the United States in any region without direct access to a stroke unit or local stroke expertise, researchers said.

The use of telemedicine to ensure 24/7 access to consultation and care in rural areas is one of the major recommendations of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association in their 2013 policy statement on systems of care.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Muller-Barna, G. J. Hubert, S. Boy, U. Bogdahn, S. Wiedmann, P. U. Heuschmann, H. J. Audebert. TeleStroke Units Serving as a Model of Care in Rural Areas: 10-Year Experience of the TeleMedical Project for Integrative Stroke Care. Stroke, 2014; 45 (9): 2739 DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.006141

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "TeleStroke Units improve stroke care in underserved areas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821161326.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2014, August 21). TeleStroke Units improve stroke care in underserved areas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821161326.htm
American Heart Association. "TeleStroke Units improve stroke care in underserved areas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821161326.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) — A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) — A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins