Essentia adds 'telestroke' to stroke treatment servicesEssentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center, which last fall was certified as the first primary stroke center north of the Twin Cities, is adding another new wrinkle to its stroke care.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center, which last fall was certified as the first primary stroke center north of the Twin Cities, is adding another new wrinkle to its stroke care.
On Wednesday, the hospital will have “telestroke,” said Gail Wallace, a nurse practitioner in the hospital’s neurology department. That means a stroke neurologist based in St. Paul will be available for video consultations if there’s an acute stroke.
The specialist can be linked via a monitor within a couple of minutes.
“We have general neurologists here that are very good at treating stroke,” Wallace said. “But when it’s a stroke neurologist, it can just be quicker. That’s all they do is stroke.”
St. Mary’s will have a stroke neurologist of its own later this year, she said.
As important as it is to treat strokes quickly, it’s even more important to prevent them in the first place, Wallace said. High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking are key risk factors for stroke, the CDC said.
“If we know our numbers and take some ownership, most of these strokes that I’m so excited about treating could have been prevented,” Wallace said.