96% of SC population now within an hour of expert stroke care thanks to telestroke
The MUSC Health Telestroke Program was created to provide urgent evaluation and treatment at outlying hospitals and, if needed, transfer patients to MUSC Health for additional diagnosis and treatment.
The program is a part of the SmartState SC Centers of Economic Excellence Program. The Stroke Center of Economic Excellence program is focused on reducing the incidence of stroke and augmenting provision of acute stroke care in South Carolina.
Many rural or community medical centers have stroke patients arrive in their emergency department, but don't have a neurologist on staff or do not have enough neurologists provide an around-the-clock stroke team capable of rapid stroke evaluation and treatment. The telestroke program provides immediate, access to MUSC Health's stroke care experts 24 hours a day, who can remotely provide urgent consultations after virtually examining patients and brain imaging studies through a specialized computer connection.
Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun area residents are fortunate in that the Regional Medical Center has a primary stroke center. Joint Commission, in conjunction with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, awarded RMC with Advanced Certification. Affiliating with MUSC Health strengthens an already strong program.
MUSC Health neurologist and telestroke program director Christine Holmstedt was sitting in the parking lot of Orangeburg Regional Medical Center, where she was about to enter the hospital to conduct a telestroke training. Ironically, she responded to a consult for a stroke patient coming into Toumey Medical Center in Sumter. The patient was admitted to the hospital and within six minutes was being evaluated in Sumter by a stroke specialist, rather than being transported 161 miles to Charleston.