Riverside's Telestroke program extends the expertise of our neurosciences team to emergency department physicians at other hospitals, including:
- Riverside Walter Reed Hospital on the Middle Peninsula
- Riverside Tappahannock Hospital in the Northern Neck and
- Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital on the Eastern Shore
The patient is examined via a two way teleconference examination by a neurologist at Riverside Regional Medical Center. The neurologist also looks at the diagnostic tests performed on the patient including a CT scan which shows three dimensional images of the brain. Throughout Riverside, we use electronic medical records so that no matter where you are in the health system, doctors have immediate access to accurate and up to date medical records.
A difference in the Riverside Stroke Program is that we have the rare privilege of having a full time combination of interventional neurology, radiology and neurosurgery team who specialize in stroke care. This comprehensive, cross specialty team is rare not only in Virginia, but in hospitals and stroke centers around the country.
The telestroke process
When a patient arrives via EMS, the medics call the hospital on the way to the emergency department to let the team know that a potential stroke patient is on the way. This triggers a Brain Attack which also alerts the neurologist on call at Riverside Regional Medical Center that they need to get to the Riverside Telemedicine Consultation room or their computer.
Once the patient arrives in the ED they have labs drawn and the head CT is done as quickly as possible. The neurologist then pulls up the CT images remotely prior to seeing the patient. The neurologist then examines the patient via secure teleconference examination and performs a physical examination with the assistance of the RWRH ED nurses and physicians.
Based on the physical examination and CT images the neurologist determines if giving the patient tPA would be beneficial or not. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a protein involved in the breakdown of blood clots and is given in cases of an ischemic stroke. If a patient does get intravenous tPA at the remote hospital, then they are transferred to RRMC for Acute Inpatient care and seen by the same neurologist who treated them via the Telemedicine cart.