12/18/2013 7:19 PM
by Courtney Rosemond
BECKLEY - The Beckley Appalachian Regional Healthcare Hospital implements a new program aimed at improving access to stroke care in rural locations.
The hospital is partnering with the University of Kentucky's stroke care network. Medics at Beckley ARH can contact the network with questions about a patient's case and to corroborate opinions.
The network's director visited the hospital to teach nurses and physicians how to recognize symptoms and conduct initial treatment. They also learned how to recognize when patients need additional help from a comprehensive stroke center such as CAMC. They say the hospital's partnership with both the stroke care network and CAMC could provide access to life-saving care for hundreds of patients.
Medics can use the blue phone at this nurses station to directly dials stroke neurologists at the University of Kentucky and make decisions about patients.
Doctors say 350 strokes occurred last year across southern West Virginia. The University of Kentucky is also aiming to exchange cat scan images with hospitals in their stroke care network and officials say this should be implemented in the next few months.