Telestroke care is a form of telemedicine that relies on a clot-busting medication called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA.
Telestroke care allows neurologists to provide emergency stroke care for patients who have had strokes but who do not have access to a neurologist at that crucial time.
At Dignity Health, we provide telestroke care and emergency stroke treatment in Arizona. Visit your nearest Dignity Health emergency room in an emergency, using our online InQuicker™ tool to select your estimated arrival time.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening symptom or injury, signs of stroke, or heart attack, call 9-1-1.
Reasons for Telestroke Care with tPA
Someone who has had a stroke needs tPA within three to four hours of the first signs and symptoms of stroke, which include:
- Slurred speech
- Inability to raise both arms
- Trouble with vision
- Face drooping on one side
Giving tPA dissolves the clot and restores blood flow to the brain, saving vital brain tissue.
How It Works: Telestroke Care at Dignity Health
Through our telestroke program, we communicate with a neurologist by videoconferencing. A neurologist and telestroke care team is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you visit a Dignity Health ER with signs and symptoms of stroke, your doctor will perform initial testing, such as brain imaging, to check for signs of a blood clot in the brain.
Your doctor will then relay the test findings to the telestroke neurologist. The neurologist may perform a remote neurologic exam by video. At this point, the neurologist can prescribe treatment to be carried out at Dignity Health.
What to Expect from Emergency Stroke Treatment
Telestroke patients must sign a consent form for their information to be transmitted to the telestroke neurologist. The neurologist may talk with you by video and ask you or your or family members questions about family history and incidents leading up to the stroke. The video conference may be held by smartphone, tablet, or computer.
If your neurologist recommends tPA treatment, your ER doctor will administer it. The telestroke team will remain available to answer questions during and after the treatment process. If you are unable to travel, the telestroke care team may also complete the follow-up care.
Committed to your care, Dignity Health provides high-quality emergency services, including tPA and telestroke care, in Arizona.