Telestroke boost for patients in the Far West
Stroke patients in Far West Local Health District (LHD) will now have 24/7 access to an innovative new virtual care service, as part of a $21.7 million initiative being rolled out across NSW.
Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said the life-saving service would directly link stroke patients and their doctors with specialist stroke physicians.
“Telestroke ensures patients can be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible, ensuring the best possible outcome and potentially saving lives,” Mrs Taylor said.
“Doctors across the Far West Local Health District will be connected with the state’s leading clinicians via video consultation, where together they can determine the most appropriate treatment option for each patient.
“These options include urgent treatment to dissolve a clot locally, or urgent transfer to a specialised stroke centre for more complex treatment where appropriate.”
Every year, around 19,000 residents in NSW have a stroke and more than a third of people hospitalised for stroke in NSW are from regional, remote or rural areas.
60 stroke patients presented to Broken Hill Health Service between January to December 2021.
Since its launch in March 2020, 23 sites have joined the $21.7 million NSW Telestroke Service, saving lives and reducing disability in more than 2,000 patients.
Minister for Western NSW Dugald Saunders welcomed the addition of the Far West LHD to the NSW Telestroke Service, after its life-saving impact in other areas.
“Stroke is a time critical medical emergency that can kill up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute, so every second counts and having access to the Telestroke service is a huge boost for our patients and clinicians,” Mr Saunders said.
“It is also really important that people learn to recognise stroke symptoms and call an ambulance immediately, to give stroke sufferers the best chance of a successful
The F.A.S.T test is an easy way to spot the signs of stroke. FAST stands for:
· Face - Has their mouth drooped?
· Arms - Can the person lift both arms?
· Speech - Is the person’s speech slurred? Do they understand you?
· Time - Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.
Implementation of the NSW Telestroke Service is a collaboration between the Prince of Wales Hospital, eHealth NSW, Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Ministry of Health.
NSW Telestroke Service is a 2019 NSW Government election commitment and jointly funded by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.
Footage of the NSW Telestroke Service is available at: https://vimeo.com/295104771