July 6, 2011
The Royal Surrey Stroke and Telemedicine teams in A & E
- Innovative equipment allowed specialist consultant to assess patient from home
Victoria Otham, 20 from Epsom, received emergency thrombolysis treatment, following a stroke on 10th May, thanks to the use of innovative equipment at the Royal Surrey County Hospital.
Victoria was managed via a system called Telemedicine, which is conferencing equipment that allows specialist stroke consultants to assess patients at any time of the day or night when they are not at the hospital. The stroke specialist can decide whether the patient is suitable for clot busting treatment, called thrombolysis, which needs to be administered as soon as possible following the stroke. Thrombolysis can reduce the debilitating effects of a stroke and leave patients with a much better quality of life.
Dr Adrian Blight, Lead Consultant for Stroke at the Royal Surrey said;
“Previously stroke specialists would have had to drive to the hospital, sometimes over long distances, to examine the patient and decide if they were suitable to receive thrombolysis. This inevitably led to delays in treatment but now we are able to assess the patient straight away.
“Time is critical when treating a stroke patient and telemedicine is a way for patients to be given the go ahead to receive clot busting drugs without delay. Telemedicine is an exciting development being pursued throughout the country as a way of offering specialist stroke consultant opinion 24/7.”
Victoria, began showing symptoms of a stroke at 7pm in the evening and her mother Lindsey called an ambulance straight away after she recognised the symptoms from the “FAST” stroke advertising campaign;
Lindsey Otham, Victoria’s mum, said:
“Victoria came home from work complaining of a pain in her neck. At 7pm her mouth and hand went on her left side. I instantly recognised the symptoms as a stroke having seen the advert on television.
“I called 999 and an ambulance came straight away, as luckily the station is just around the corner. When they picked us up they said they were taking us to the Royal Surrey in Guildford as they are stroke specialists and able to deliver specialist treatment around the clock.
“When we arrived at A & E at the Royal Surrey there was a stroke team already waiting for Victoria. They did lots of tests and assessments and then contacted Dr Blight who used the telemedicine equipment from his home. Dr Blight was able to look at Victoria’s scans and test results and was also able to see her and speak with her. He then gave the stroke team the go ahead to give Victoria thrombolysis and she went straight up to the stroke ward. “
Victoria Otham continued;
“I felt very strange and not with it. I went onto the ward at 1am and didn’t get any sleep that night because the nurses observed me every 15 minutes. By the morning I could move my left leg, it was amazing!
“I then began my rehabilitation and set my first goal of being able to walk to the bathroom. I was able to do this within a couple of days, usually it takes patients a couple of weeks but I am very determined and stubborn.
“All of the staff have been so nice and helpful but I was looking forward to going home.”
Telemedicine works through mobile cart in A & E which has a high definition video camera so that the specialist stroke consultant can see the patient and there is a television screen in A & E so that the patient can see the consultant. The consultant is able to have a conversation with the patient and staff remotely using a laptop and camera and is able to see brain scan of the patient on their computer screen at home.
Dr Blight continued;
“Victoria’s case shows how important it is to spot stroke symptoms at the earliest opportunity. Even though stroke is an unusual condition to affect younger people, it can happen. Victoria’s mother deserves great credit for acting quickly and ensuring Victoria was taken to a hospital where stroke treatment could be given to her as soon as possible.”
The Royal Surrey has been using telemedicine for stoke treatment for over a year now and have tested and trialled it extensively to ensure it works effectively and reliably. The Royal Surrey is currently the only hospital in Surrey using telemedicine but there are plans for it to be rolled out to other hospitals across Surrey over the next few months.
More from News
Web Design by FLIPSIDE
© Royal Surrey County Hospital 2011
● Site Map ● Privacy ● Accessibility ● W3C ● XHTML ● CSS