CHICAGO, IL – July 11, 2017 –The Loretto Hospital launched its new Telestroke Program to provide immediate treatment to stroke victims in the Austin and surrounding communities. The program, which officially launched on June 13, will provide 24-hour coverage and remote treatment at the Kimberly A. Lightford Emergency Department at Loretto Hospital, while giving patients full access to the highest quality of care by top board-certified neurologists and neurosurgeons at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
“The new telestroke service is an opportunity for us to treat stroke victims in the Austin community. It is also a wonderful advance and breakthrough for Loretto because it gives us access to cutting edge neurovascular science,” said Lois A. Clark, MD, director of emergency medicine at The Loretto Hospital.
Loretto has partnered with Richard Bernstein, MD, PhD, medical director, and Babak Jahromi, MD, PhD, surgical director and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Comprehensive Stroke Center for telestroke care. Patients at Loretto with stroke symptoms can be connected with stroke specialists at Northwestern Memorial using a secure video conferencing system to help diagnose stroke and ensure patients receive the best treatment possible. Patients and their families have the ability to talk face-to-face with Northwestern Medicine neurologists and neurosurgeons experienced in the diagnosis and management of the full spectrum of stroke. The goal is for the consulting physician to be able to talk to the patient in real-time about their symptoms, evaluate the patient's motor skills, view a computed tomography (CT) scan, make a diagnosis and prescribe the proper treatment.
According to the National Stroke Association, strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, and the leading cause of long-term disability. The National Stroke Association also reports up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable; and victims who are treated within the first three hours have a significantly lower risk of permanent brain damage or death. The higher survival rates are largely due to medical treatment advances such as the clot busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). TPA is the gold standard and the only FDA-approved treatment for ischemic strokes. With the new telemedicine services at Loretto, patients can come to Loretto via ambulance to receive better standard of care and improved health outcomes.
Currently, Northwestern has seven telestroke partnerships across the Chicagoland area including The Loretto Hospital. For more information about Telestroke Services at Loretto Hospital, call 773- 854-5488.
About The Loretto Hospital
The Loretto Hospital is a not-for-profit, community-based, and acute care hospital located on Chicago’s Far West Side of Chicago. Founded in 1939 by a group of community doctors to create a patient centered hospital that would serve the community regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, Loretto has provided comprehensive medical care and social support services to the Austin Community for 75 years. Although the largest percentage of the hospital’s patients resides in Austin, neighboring communities and suburbs also utilize Loretto as a healthcare resource. For more information, please visit lorettohospital.org.