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Newly Formed Partnership with Swedish Neuroscience Institute will Bolster Stroke-Care Services for Walla Walla Community

WALLA WALLA, WA, Feb. 7, 2012 – Walla Walla area residents facing a potential or actual acute stroke will benefit from a recently formed partnership between the Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) Acute TeleStroke Program and Walla Walla General Hospital (WWGH) that will bolster WWGH’s stroke support services through 24/7, around-the-clock access to SNI’s nationally recognized stroke team experts via real-time, telemedicine-based technology.

This TeleStroke partnership provides an as-needed link between the Emergency Center team at WWGH and the comprehensive team of stroke specialists based at the Swedish/Cherry Hill campus campus in Seattle. With the help of a secure, video-conferencing network, members of SNI’s Stroke Program are able to quickly perform ‘virtual’ bedside neurological evaluations that allow them to examine patients, review brain images and quickly select the best acute stroke treatments in collaboration with WWGH Emergency Center physicians.

WWGH sees more than 125 patients a year who are experiencing signs and symptoms of TIA or Stroke. Many of those patients may qualify for the TeleStroke program. “We have the equipment and team, now we have the expertise of the physicians and staff at Swedish to help better serve our patients,” said Jackie Fullerton, vice president for patient- care services at WWGH. “The difference this can make for our patients and their families is huge.”

In fact, the first week that the program went live ...

Stroke Care at Four Swedish Campuses Designated by Washington State Department of Health

SEATTLE, Nov. 29, 2011 – Swedish is proud to announce that the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) designated four of its campuses – Cherry Hill, First Hill, Ballard and Edmonds – to provide stroke care. The Washington State DOH Emergency Cardiac and Stroke system was created to provide a statewide designation program that recognizes the level of stroke care capabilities available to stroke patients in medical facilities across the state. The Swedish Stroke System of Care has been certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center since 2004.

Swedish Cherry Hill is one of only four hospital campuses in King County to receive Level I designation.

Washington DOH designated Swedish Cherry Hill as a Level I facility, recognizing their leadership in providing stroke care to people throughout Seattle and the Puget Sound region. Swedish Cherry Hill provides comprehensive stroke care – including acute thrombolytic interventions to break clots down and restore circulation, advanced diagnostic imaging to identify a blocked artery, and catheter-based interventions to re-open arteries. Swedish admits about 1,000 stroke patients annually, and provides 24/7 acute stroke care. In addition, Swedish Cherry Hill is engaged in clinical research utilizing advanced diagnostic imaging and offering novel therapies for acute stroke patients.

How do you know if you're having a stroke?

Hopefully, you won't have a stroke. But if you do, do you know what to do? Why is it important that you get to an emergency room quickly? Knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke could help save your life or the life of a loved one. How do you lessen your risk of having another stroke? Is your family at increased risk? Dr. William Likosky, director of Swedish Stroke and Telestroke programs, explains.

(Click here to see the entire playlist and other questions answered about stroke, including why follow up care is so important.)

Newly Formed Partnership with Swedish Neuroscience Institute will Bolster Stroke-Care Services for People Who Live and Work on Whidbey Island

Swedish Releases Groundbreaking Stroke Study in Journal of Neurosurgery

Hugh Markus - 2011 Merrill P. Spencer Lecturer

Each spring, The Merrill P. Spencer, M.D. Endowed Lecture is presented in conjunction with the annual Swedish Neuroscience Institute Cerebrovascular Symposium. This year, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Hugh Markus, Professor of Neurology at St. George’s University of London.

Hugh Markus was educated in Medicine at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and then carried out medical jobs in Oxford, London and Nottingham before training in neurology in London. He was senior lecturer and subsequently, reader in neurology at Kings College London before moving to the chair of neurology at St George’s in 2000.

His clinical interests are in stroke, and he is clinical lead for stroke at St George’s Hospital. He is involved in both acute stroke care and outpatient stroke clinics, and runs specialist services for patients with sub cortical vascular disease and genetic forms of stroke.

Advances in thrombolysis

 Washington State has one of the high est stroke mortality rates in the nation. To improve this situation, acute intervention al therapies for stroke are being employed to restore circulation to ischemic brain tissue that surrounds areas of completed infraction, while avoiding risk of hemor rhage due to reperfusion of large areas of infracted brain tissue.

Urgent thrombolysis with intrave nous alteplase is the only therapy known to improve clinical outcomes following acute stroke. Unfortunately, alteplase has had limited usage because many patients arrive in an emergency department after the three-hour treatment window. The FDA has also approved two clot removal devices based on the ability to restore circulation. These devices are used up to eight hours after symptom onset. Several approaches to improved acute stroke care are now under way, including extension of the thrombolysis window to 4.5 hours, identification of safer thrombolytic agents and research identifying brain at risk of in farction following a stroke.

A recent European study demonstrat ed the efficacy of alteplase up to 4.5 hours after ischemic stroke in patients younger than age 80 years who have neither dia betes mellitus or prior stroke. The safety profile during this longer window for these patients appears similar to that at three hours.

Another promising advance employs a new thrombolytic agent called des moteplase.

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