Through a secure videoconferencing network between the Holy Family Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Holy Family’s emergency room (ER) physicians are able to collaborate with stroke neurologists at MGH in real-time. This allows experts to rapidly perform "virtual" bedside neurological evaluations during which they examine patients, review brain images, and quickly select the best acute stroke treatments in collaboration with local ER staffs.
One of the potential treatments is an FDA-approved medicine, tPA, that can reverse the devastating effects of stroke for some patients if it is administered within three hours of the onset of a stroke. However, treatments are time-dependent and, as a result, most effective when they can be provided in the nearest emergency room. Telemedicine provides individuals from the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire with access to the same level of expert care available at a major medical center with an experienced stroke program.
At Holy Family, we foster a team approach to rehabilitation that involves stroke survivors and their family members. While most stroke survivors undergo a natural healing process, recovery can be greatly enhanced with further rehabilitation. Our goal is to use the latest technology, combined with personal and compassionate attention, to help patients return to everyday life as independently as possible.
According to the American Heart Association, someone in this country has a stroke every 40 seconds. It is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. But many people are not aware of stroke’s warning signs.
People should become familiar with these warning signs and act FAST if they suspect a stroke:
F — Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face
A — Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one drift downward?
S — Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?
T — Time. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it’s up to bystanders to act fast.
Those who suspect a stroke should call 911 immediately and get to a hospital before three hours have elapsed. Potential stroke patients are brought to the nearest accredited stroke facility, which is notified when the ambulance is in route.
In case of an emergency, please locate the nearest emergency room or dial 911.