New technology helps stroke victims - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

New technology helps stroke victims

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SALINE CO. -- A Saline County medical center has brought in advanced technology to help care for patients more effectively. 

Eldorado's Ferrell Hospital, in partnership with Deaconess in Evansville, now offers telemedicine to stroke patients. It's a new way of helping stroke victims who end up in the emergency room.

Telestroke technology allows neurologists to examine a potential stroke patient without being in the same room.

"It allows us to be able to treat our stroke patients in a more timely manner and able to start initial treatment quicker," said Ferrel Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Rachael Prather.

Stroke is an interruption of blood flow to the brain. It's a condition that requires immediate medical attention.

Prather says "time is brain," so the quicker they can treat a patient the better the outcome.

"Within three hours at the beginning of a stroke has much lower risk of the permanent damage," said Prather.

Through a Toughbook, which is very similar to a laptop, the nurses and the doctor will be able to communicate with a neurologist through a webcam. The neurologist will be able to see the patient, the doctors, and ask questions if they need to.

"Based on what he sees and is able to access is that's when him and ER doctor are able to say, 'Okay, we need to go ahead and start this initial plan,'" said Prather.

Prather says because they are not able to staff a neurologist around the clock, this allows one to be available either from Evansville or other hospitals at all times.

"We want to be able to provide the best care to our patients. I mean, our community deserves receiving quality care," she added.

Prather says they are now looking at a grant for telemedicine for their pediatric patients.

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