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Rapid Response. Real-Time Intervention. Advanced Neurology Care.


Highland's Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital
Every 3-4 minutes, someone dies from a stroke. Every hour into a stroke, the brain is aged 3.6 years. Thankfully, HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital offers state-of-the-art telemedicine "robot" technology that puts you in touch with time-saving, life-saving stroke evaluation and treatment – immediately.

Early, real-time access to advanced neurology specialists makes the most of stroke's most critical time – when lives are saved and brain function can be preserved. This telemedicine technology means if you’re having a stroke, you have immediate access to leading neurologists right here in Highland at SJH. Real-time web-based video and audio equipment lets specialists evaluate and interact directly with you and the emergency department physician remotely.

The "robot" telemedicine program delivers:

  • Immediate access to neurology specialists
  • Advanced stroke treatment and intervention during the critical window
  • Face-to-face interaction between you and specialists
  • World-class technology and neurology resources direct to the hospital
  • Designated Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital (ESRH) – one of the region’s select few

What does being designated as an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital (ESRH) mean?
Emergent Stroke Ready Hospitals diagnose, treat and transport acute stroke patients to a higher level of care as warranted – such as the immediate access telemedicine provides. As an ESRH, we must annually attest our continued compliance with specific criteria aligning with nationally recognized, evidence-based standards, such as those from the American Heart/Stroke Association and Brain Attack Coalition.

Why is immediate access to care important for stroke patients?
There is a short window of time when evaluation and treatment of a stroke is critical – this is when lives can be saved and brain function preserved. That's why it's important to know the symptoms and call 9-1-1 if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the warning signs.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

Stroke symptoms include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Act F.A.S.T.!
Follow this F.A.S.T. acronym if someone you know is exhibiting any of the above symptoms:

  • FACE - Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • ARMS - Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • SPEECH - Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his/her speech slurred or strange?
  • TIME - If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately!

How does the St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland stroke telemedicine program work?
When a potential stroke patient arrives at the SJH Emergency Department, the staff alerts an on-call expert and shares the patient's condition, along with brain and x-ray scans. A mobile "robot" unit – nicknamed "STEVE" (Stroke Telemedicine Emergency Video Exam) – is brought to the patient's bedside to initiate an immediate consultation through videoconferencing. The neurologist will have the ability to interact face-to-face with the patient and family, ask the patient to perform examination tasks and provide an expert recommendation to the SJH Emergency Department physician for the appropriate course of treatment.

What happens after a stroke is diagnosed?
Once there is a diagnosis, some patients may be given a special drug called t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator). This drug can break up a blood clot and allow blood supply to return, thereby preventing the patient's condition from worsening and even improving it in most cases. It is critical, however, that t-PA be administered within a 3 to 4.5 hour window from when the patient was last functioning normally to the onset of stroke symptoms.

Who are the neurology specialists that will care for me?
The hospital is partnering with C30 Telemedicine to supply double board-certified physicians (neurology and neuro-critical care specialists) who will serve as the on-call neurologists when an apparent stroke victim arrives at the SJH Emergency Department. An innovative provider of virtual-presence clinical coverage solutions to metropolitan and rural health facilities, C30 Telemedicine delivers flexible, responsive and highly supported telemedicine services with exceptional clinical quality.

If you or someone you love is experiencing stroke symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately!

If you have more questions the SJH stroke telemedicine program, call (618) 651-2840.