$21.7M initiative to help people who have had a stroke
STROKE patients have access to a new telehealth service as part of a $21.7 million initiative to go live at Lismore Base Hospital today.
The NSW Telestroke Service links stroke patients with specialist stroke clinicians via telehealth.
The service enables time-critical diagnosis and treatment for patients in regional and rural areas.
From January to December 2019, there were 253 stroke patients admitted to Lismore Base Hospital.
"A stroke is a medical emergency, and kills up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute," Lismore Base Hospital Stroke coordinator Kim Hoffman said.
"This Telestroke Service will have an enormous impact by providing time-critical, best-practice treatment that saves lives and reduces lifelong disability."
"It's also really important that people learn to recognise stroke symptoms and call an ambulance immediately, to give stroke sufferers the best chance of a successful outcome," Ms Hoffman said.
Lynne Weir, Director Clinical Operations, Northern NSW Local Health District said every year, around 19,000 residents in NSW have a stroke.
"People in regional and rural areas have a far greater risk of hospitalisation from stroke and this vital service will provide them with immediate, lifesaving diagnosis and treatment from the state's leading clinicians.
"The Telestroke Service will improve outcomes for stroke patients in our region, giving them a much greater chance of surviving and leading a normal life."
The service links expert stroke clinicians with local emergency physicians to
quickly determine the best possible treatment plan for a patient.
"The F.A.S.T. test is an easy way to spot the signs of stroke, which I encourage everyone to learn."
F.A.S.T. stands for
- Face: Check the person's face. Has their mouth drooped?
- Arms: Can the person lift both arms?
- Speech: Is the person's speech slurred? Do they understand you?
- Time: Is critical. If you see any of these signs call triple-0 straight away.