Re­duc­ing door-to-treat­ment times for stroke pa­tients

The Beacon Herald - - LOCAL NEWS - JONATHAN JUHA STAFF RE­PORTER

Lo­cal health of­fi­cials are hop­ing a new change in pro­ce­dure when treat­ing stroke cases will have sig­nif­i­cant im­pacts for pa­tients in Huron and Perth coun­ties.

Start­ing Dec. 1, area emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices staff will be­gin pre-reg­is­ter­ing pa­tients with stroke-like symp­toms while en route to the hos­pi­tal in an at­tempt to re­duce door-to-treat­ment times.

“When the EMS picks up a pa­tient in the com­mu­nity … they’ll call the hos­pi­tal, give us the heads up that they are com­ing, and send some in­for­ma­tion so that we are able to pre-reg­is­ter pa­tients and be able to call up any in­for­ma­tion or med­i­cal records we need,” ex­plained Bon­nie Thomp­son, district man­ager for the lo­cal stroke pro­gram.

“By pre-reg­is­ter­ing the pa­tients, we are cut­ting down on the time that it takes to do that on ar­rival.”

De­pend­ing on their lo­ca­tion and what treat­ment is needed, pa­tients in Huron and Perth coun­ties are redi­rected to the hos­pi­tal in Strat­ford, which is one of seven des­ig­nated stroke cen­tres in the South West Lo­cal Health In­te­gra­tion Net­work (LHIN), or the one in Goderich, which is a des­ig­nated tele­stroke cen­tre.

By for­ward­ing all rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion from the pa­tient ahead of time, they can start re­ceiv­ing the proper care as soon as they ar­rive at one of these cen­tres, Thomp­son said.

The move would also make the lo­cal health al­liance the first one in the South West LHIN to try out the ini­tia­tive.

“This is one small tweak in our over­all process … (and) we are try­ing to see if we can start to de­crease our door-to-nee­dle time and stream­line our ac­cess to CT scans and lab tests,” she said.

The ex­pec­ta­tion, Thomp­son added, is that the new pro­ce­dure could help de­crease door-to-treat­ment times by 10 min­utes.

She said that though it may not sound like much time, when it comes to strokes each sec­ond counts.

“For ev­ery hour an acute is­chemic stroke is un­treated, you lose 120 mil­lion neu­rons and your ag­ing is 3.6 years,” she said. “So time is brain and ev­ery minute is im­por­tant.” jjuha@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/JuhaJonathan

THE BEA­CON HER­ALD FILE PHOTO

Strat­ford Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal is one of the seven des­ig­nated stroke cen­tres in the South­west LHIN.

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