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October 11, 2013
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Upstate to aid Carthage Area Hospital with stroke care

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Carthage Area Hospital (CAH) will be aided in its treatment of stroke patients by neurologists at Upstate University Hospital through a special telemedicine program.

The special telemedicine platform, created by REACH Health, will provide Upstate neurologists with an array of information, including CT scans, as well as the ability to speak with doctors and the patient at Carthage Area Hospital from their offices at Upstate in Syracuse.

“The ability to help outlying hospitals enhance their care of stroke patients through this innovation telemedicine program speaks to Upstate’s value as a regional resource,” said Rochele Clark, RN, stroke coordinator at Upstate. “We have experts here that certain regions of the state do not, but thanks to telemedicine, our experts can be in hospitals throughout the region in a touch of a button.”

When a patient arrives at the Emergency Department at Carthage Area Hospital with what the health care team has determined are symptoms consistent with stroke, Carthage Area Hospital can receive a consult with an Upstate neurologist. Within minutes the neurologist will be able to view the CT scan, examine the patient and talk with patients, families and physician about possible treatment.

The standard protocol for ischemic (non-hemorrhagic) stroke treatment is intravenous tPA, a clot-busting drug that can provide the best benefit to patients if administered within a short time after the first signs of stroke.

“Time is brain when it comes to stroke treatment,” Clark said, “which is why this telemedicine approach to delivering stroke care, especially, makes perfect sense.  Upstate is about 90 miles south of Carthage, but we can be in that hospital emergency room within minutes to consult with their physician on the best stroke care for their patients.”

Upstate has a similar long-distance stroke protocol in place with Rome Memorial Hospital, located in Rome, N.Y., about 50 miles east of Syracuse.

Upstate has received special designations for its stroke care from New York state and DNV Healthcare, a leading accrediting organizations of hospitals in the United States. The DNV designation of Upstate as a primary stroke center hospital signifies that Upstate is using the highest standards and proven methods to achieve successful outcomes for stroke patients.

“We’re delighted to partner with Carthage Area Hospital in bringing advanced stroke treatment and care to residents of the North Country,” said Upstate University Hospital CEO John McCabe, MD. “Upstate’s mission, as the area’s only academic medical center, is to collaborate on projects just like this and to be a resource for medical professionals throughout the state. Carthage Area Hospital should be commended for the work it has done to bring this project to reality to benefit its patients.”

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