Each year in Ontario, 16,000 people will experience a stroke, at a cost to the economy of $964M in medical and other stroke-related costs. However, stroke’s enormous burden can be significantly reduced by implementing the use of a thrombolytic drug like tPA.  Clinical research shows that patients with acute stroke treated with tPA within the first 4.5 hours of symptom onset have better outcomes, with 30% more patients recovering with no or minor disability. The sooner the treatment is started the better the results.

The Provincial Telestroke Program is a component of Ontario’s stroke strategy and provides stroke patients in remote areas of the province with access to life-saving emergency care that they might not receive without this real-time expert neurological assessment.  Telestroke uses eHealth Ontario’s Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System (ENITS), a centralized web-based picture archiving and communication system for head scans that can be accessed and viewed by participating neurologists.

The Provincial Telestroke Program:

  • provides 24/7 stroke coverage via OTN;
  • uses CritiCall Ontario to contact a neurologist; and
  • supports discussions between ED physicians and a neurologist regarding the treatment of stroke patients, including the administration of tPA.
Telestroke makes it possible for a neurologist to be at the patient’s bedside – even when that patient is hundreds of miles away – and assist the local physician with determining the most effective therapy possible.
Dr. Frank Silver, Neurologist and Medical Director, Telestroke

Latest Telestroke News

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In the world of stroke, it’s often said that ‘time is brain’. When oxygen-rich blood is blocked from reaching the brain, more brain nerve cells will die, producing damage and disability. Early intervention in stroke is critical – to help to restore blood flow to the brain and, as a result, better the chances of recovery. At Bluewater Health, we’re giving patients increased access to the brain-saving treatments they need.

Telestroke reaches thrombolysis milestone

Telestroke has reached an important milestone, fielding more than 4,300 calls from physicians and providing more than 1,200 recommendations for thrombolysis (tPA) treatment since 2002.

Originally posted on the OTN website.