Telestroke technology goes online across Vitalité Health Network

Bathurst, December 18, 2014 – Telestroke technology, which allows faster diagnosis and treatment of cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs), also known as strokes, is now online in all of Vitalité Health Network’s hospital facilities equipped with CT scanners.

On Monday, December 8, the hospitals in Campbellton, Edmundston, and Tracadie-Sheila joined the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst and the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton in delivering this service.

This new technology allows the emergency department staff in these hospitals to communicate directly with off-site neurologists and treat stroke victims more quickly, thereby increasing their chances of recovery.

“With rapid diagnosis and treatment of strokes being crucial to optimal recovery, the implementation of this technology is of immeasurable value to our patients. The key element of the system is elimination of the geographic barrier to accessing neurologists in a timely manner,” explained Richard Losier, Chief Operating Officer of the Beauséjour Zone of Vitalité Health Network.

The Telestroke Network was created in May 2013 as a collaborative initiative between the Vitalité and Horizon health networks, the Department of Health and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, also supported by FacilicorpNB and Ambulance NB. The Telestroke technology is the final outcome of this work and is allowing the various hospital centres equipped with CT scanners to access a neurology service on call 24-hours a day, with the province’s 14 neurologists participating.

“Since Telestroke was implemented, nearly ten stroke patients have been treated within Vitalité Health Network using this technology. We have been able to make the diagnosis, initiate a consultation with the on-call neurologist, and administer treatment with the clot-busting medication RT-PA and to do so well within the required 4.5 hour window. In almost all cases, the patients have recovered their abilities. These medical cases have clearly demonstrated how the system is benefiting patients,” mentioned Yves Laurendeau, Director of Support Services and Professional Services.

Implementation of the Telestroke technology was also made possible by financial support from the following foundations: