CKHA changes approach to strokes

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Chatham-Kent Health Alliance officials say they’ve made improvements to how fast possible victims of stroke receive treatment.

Lisa Northcott, vice-president at the CKHA, said new best practices have been implemented this spring to accelerate the process.

It begins with paramedics, who will notify the hospital when they have a patient who may have suffered a stroke. Northcott said they will call in when they are about five minutes from the hospital.

At that point, there will be an overhead page at the hospital that gives the appropriate staff the heads up.

“An emergency department doctor, nurse and lab tech go to the ambulance bay to wait for the patient. CT techs make sure the CT scanner is ready for the patient,” she said. “When the patient arrives, the doctor does a quick assessment and it’s off to CT. Images go to a London neurologist who specializes in stroke care.”

At that point telestroke care kicks in and the neurologist is connected to the patient via video, so the specialist can assess the images and the patient.

Northcott said access to faster, appropriate treatment can help the patient’s chances for a full recovery, or minimize the impact of the stroke.

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