As part of our stroke care program, Dignity Health Central California provides telemedicine services to all our patients. This allows our neurology departments to offer telestroke care where full-service stroke care may not be available. This service is very beneficial if you or a loved one has had a stroke but don’t have easy access to a neurologist, due to the location.
If you would like more information about the benefits of telestroke in Central California, Find a Doctor today at one of our hospitals.
The Importance of Telestroke Care
Telestroke services give you the ability to receive emergency care from a neurologist — in the event of a stroke — without having to be in their presence. When a stroke occurs, treatment is often a medication called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. This medicine acts as a “clot-buster” and needs to be administered within three to four hours of the first stroke symptoms, which can include:
The clot busting medication works to dissolve the blood clot and return normal blood flow to the brain. This can save vital brain tissue and prevent further brain damage.
Not all hospitals and outpatient care clinics have an on-staff neurologist who can diagnose symptoms of stroke and provide immediate treatment. Additionally, these health care facilities may not have the ability to transport a stroke patient to an appropriate hospital or stroke care center.
For this reason, Dignity Health Central California partners with many facilities across the state to provide vital telestroke services. Any neurologist that is part of our telestroke partnership is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Telestroke facilities offer the following services:
- Communication with a neurologist via videoconferencing
- Initial testing of stroke symptoms, such as brain imaging to check for clots
- Sending of test results to a telestroke neurologist for diagnosis
Once the off-site neurologist determines the diagnosis, he or she may perform a neurologic examination through videoconferencing. If necessary, treatment can be prescribed and the host facility can deliver treatment.
What to Expect at Dignity Health Central California
In order to receive telestroke care, you or a loved one must sign a consent form so that information can be transmitted to a telestroke neurologist.
At your home facility, you may see the off-site neurologist via a videoconferencing device (computer, tablet, or smartphone). Your neurologist may ask you or your family members about the circumstances leading up to the stroke, questions about your family history, and other related questions.
If tPA treatment is recommended by the telestroke neurologist, your home facility will provide it, along with any follow-up care if you’re unable to travel to a fully-staffed facility. To learn more about telestroke care and our commitment to your well-being, talk with your doctor at Dignity Health Central California.
Receive reliable telestroke in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA, at Dignity Health Central California.