Nov. 4, 2014
CONTACT: Susan Lampert Smith
Madison, Wis. — Beloit Health System is now online as the seventh member of the Wisconsin Telestroke Program, headquartered at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.
This can mean quicker treatment for patients who go to Beloit Health System’s emergency center experiencing stroke symptoms. Emergency physicians in Beloit will be able to consult with stroke neurologists at the UW Comprehensive Stroke Center, who can examine patients and their brain scans via quick internet connection.
When strokes strike, speed is of the essence because the clot-busting drug called tPA must be given within four hours after the onset of an ischemic stroke. About 700,000 people have ischemic strokes in the United States; those who aren’t treated quickly can die or have permanent brain damage.
“We’re pleased to welcome the Beloit community into our network,” says Dr. Justin Sattin, medical director of the UW stroke program. “The telestroke system means patients will be receiving the best possible care close to home, while having access to stroke specialists who are on call around the clock for consultations. In the case of stroke, time saved is brain saved.”
Through its telestroke network, the UW Comprehensive Stroke Center provides emergency care to stroke patients at a network of hospitals in Wisconsin and northern Illinois. They include Beaver Dam, Lancaster, Platteville and Watertown in Wisconsin, and Belvidere and Rockford in northern Illinois. This collaborative approach extends the knowledge of UW experts to community hospitals without the expense of duplicating services.
UW Hospital is one of the first certified comprehensive stroke centers in the country. The Joint Commission, which provides the certification, documented every step of a stroke patient’s care, from first radio contact with the ambulance crew through the emergency department, imaging, neurology, neurosurgery, hospital care, and rehabilitation. To meet the “comprehensive” standard, the hospital proved it was ready 24/7 to treat multiple complex stroke cases at the same time. Certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers must have advanced imaging and treatment capabilities, specialists on staff around the clock, specially trained staff and physicians, and faculty engaged in stroke research.