Using telemedicine for acute stroke assessment

Gibson, Josephine orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3051-1237, Day, Elaine, Fitzgerald, Jane orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5929-8652, Gibson, Alison Mary, Lightbody, Catherine Elizabeth orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5016-3471, McAdam, Joanna orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8963-7240, McLoughlin, Alison Sarah Rachel orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5298-9306 and Watkins, Caroline Leigh orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9403-3772 (2013) Using telemedicine for acute stroke assessment. Nursing Times, 109 (35). pp. 14-16. ISSN 0954-7762

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In acute stroke care, urgent specialist assessment and treatment are essential to reduce the risk of death and disability. However, many patients do not receive them due to a lack of specialist services. One solution is to use telemedicine. This can give all patients with acute stroke symptoms access to immediate expert assessment and advice, regardless of when and where they present to hospital. This article describes a telemedicine system developed and implemented in Lancashire and Cumbria. In its first year of operation, 319 patients received a telestroke video assessment with a consultant stroke physician; 131 of these patients were given thrombolysis. We discuss how the service was designed, staff training and development, and the implications for nursing practice. The development of a standardised telemedicine toolkit that may facilitate future telemedicine projects is also discussed.

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