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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

The use of telemedicine in combination with a new stroke-code-box significantly increases t-PA use in rural communities.

BACKGROUND: The benefit of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) is strongly associated with the time to treatment. In Bavaria, Germany, only half of the population has the opportunity to be transferred to 1 of the 19 stroke units within the critical time window of less than 3 hours. The aim of this study was to investigate the benefit of a new stroke-code-box for t-PA thrombolysis combined with a telemedicine network system to increase the use of acute stroke thrombolysis. METHODS: Two specialized stroke centers in Germany established a 24-hour telemedicine network (Telemedicine Pilot Project of an Integrated Stroke Care [TEMPiS]) to advise 12 community hospitals in eastern Bavaria. These clinics are linked via telemedicine in a 24-hour/7-day service network that allows patients to be examined by experts via a videoconference system Additionally, a special stroke-code-box for acute t-PA thrombolysis was designed to reduce time in the application and documentation process. RESULTS: In the 12-month period before implementation of the TEMPiS network system, 10 patients had received systemic thrombolysis. In our 6-month study period (from July to December 2003) and after implementation of a stroke-code-box for t-PA thrombolysis within the telestroke network, 164 patients with acute stroke were presented with t-PA treatment indications. Of this patient population, 27.4% (45 of 164) received t-PA. CONCLUSIONS: Stroke care, including t-PA thrombolysis in non-urban areas, is feasible using a modern stroke unit concept within a telestroke network. With the expertise of specialized stroke centers accessed via telemedicine and the design of a stroke-code-box for t-PA thrombolysis, nearly one-third of patients presented with a possible indication for systemic thrombolysis can be treated with t-PA, thereby increasing the options for a successful stroke treatment.[1]

References

  1. The use of telemedicine in combination with a new stroke-code-box significantly increases t-PA use in rural communities. Ickenstein, G.W., Horn, M., Schenkel, J., Vatankhah, B., Bogdahn, U., Haberl, R., Audebert, H.J. Neurocritical care. (2005) [Pubmed]
 
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