TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) — You’ve had a stroke and arrive at a hospital, however the stroke specialist is off-duty. Never concern: Telemedicine might assist save your life.
Especially throughout the COVID-19 disaster, so-called ‘telestroke’ companies — the place well being staff use video to seek the advice of with a stroke specialist who may very well be miles away — helps to result in higher affected person outcomes, new analysis reveals.
“Our findings provide important evidence that telestroke improves care and can save lives,” research senior writer Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, affiliate professor of well being care coverage and of drugs at Harvard Medical School, mentioned in a college news launch.
The advantages of video-enhanced care are highest for rural Americans, research co-author Andrew Wilcock added, despite the fact that many rural hospitals aren’t but geared up for telestroke companies.
The findings “emphasize the need to address the financial barriers these smaller hospitals face in introducing telestroke,” mentioned Wilcock, who’s assistant professor of drugs at the University of Vermont and a visiting fellow in well being care coverage at Harvard Medical School.
As the researchers defined, for sufferers with stroke signs, “time is brain.” That implies that they require speedy knowledgeable evaluation and remedy to cease any mind injury and forestall critical incapacity or loss of life.
But many hospitals do not have 24-hour stroke care groups. To make up for that, almost a 3rd of U.S. hospitals supply telemedicine consults with stroke specialists at different amenities, generally a whole lot of miles away.
How a lot does it assist? To discover out, the Harvard staff in contrast outcomes and 30-day survival amongst 150,000 stroke sufferers handled at greater than 1,200 U.S. hospitals. Half of the facilities provided telestroke companies and half didn’t.
Patients at hospitals with telestroke obtained higher care and had been 4% extra more likely to be alive after 30 days than these at hospitals with out telestroke, the research discovered. The largest advantages of stroke telecare had been evident at hospitals with the bottom affected person volumes and people in rural areas, in accordance with the research revealed on-line March 1 in JAMA Neurology.
The researchers additionally assessed the usage of “reperfusion” therapies, during which blood circulation is restored to areas of the mind affected by the stroke to forestall irreparable injury.
Rates of this remedy had been 13% increased amongst sufferers at hospitals with stroke telecare than amongst these at hospitals with out telestroke companies.
Two stroke specialists unconnected to the research agreed that telestroke companies will be lifesaving.
The findings “confirm what several smaller studies have shown: That delivering expert stroke neurological care via remote video technology can increase the number of patients getting the brain-saving clot-busting treatments,” mentioned Dr. Salman Azhar, who directs stroke care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “My sense is that this finding can be extrapolated to underserved hospitals in general where there is a paucity of stroke specialists.”
Dr. Andrew Rogove is the top of stroke companies at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. He agreed that telestroke reduces sufferers’ odds for loss of life, however he famous that the research inhabitants was comparatively older, about 79 years of age on common.
“It would be interesting to see how telemedicine for stroke would affect the outcomes in a younger population,” Rogove mentioned.
The American Stroke Association has extra on stroke remedy.
SOURCES: Salman Azhar, MD, director, stroke care, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Andrew Rogove, MD, PhD, medical director, stroke companies, South Shore University Hospital, Bay Shore, N.Y; Harvard Medical School, news launch, March 1, 2021