St. Peter's Health improves emergency care for stroke patients

Posted at 5:23 PM, Oct 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-11 20:39:34-04

HELENA — St. Peter’s Health has announced a new program to help stroke patients, TeleStroke.

TeleStroke is the newest telehealth program available to Helena area patients through the St. Peter's University of Utah Health (U of U) affiliation.

Physicians and other clinicians in the emergency room are now able to consult directly with a neurologist at U of U 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Saint Peter’s Emergency Services Chair Dr. Andrew Michel, MD said the technology is great for expediting treatment, which is critical for a stroke patient.

“Every minute there’s millions of neurons lost when you have a clot in an artery going to the brain,” said Michel. “The sooner you can reopen that-- reperfuse the brain with blood-- the less damage you’ll do.”

According to the CDC, strokes are the fifth leading cause of death and nearly 800,000 people suffer from a stroke each year in the United States.

St. Peter's Health recommends that everyone know the signs.

Signs of a stroke include face drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty.

If a person shows any of these symptoms, even if they go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to a hospital immediately.