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    Telemedicine Can Help Improve Stroke Care

    Telestroke systems can supplement resources when 24-hour coverage is unavailable

    TUESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Telemedicine can be implemented within stroke-care systems to help fill the gaps in coverage, according to two articles published online on May 7 in Stroke. A third article published in the same online edition revisits the definition and evaluation of transient ischemic attack.

    J. Donald Easton, M.D., chair of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Stroke Council, and colleagues write that the definitions of transient ischemic attack, early stroke, and other vascular outcomes risks, as well as how to evaluate transient ischemic stroke have all undergone revision in the light of recent scientific research. Among their recommendations are for patients to undergo a brain scan within 24 hours of symptom onset, as well as routine noninvasive imaging of the cervicocephalic vessels.

    Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., and Heinrich J. Audebert, M.D., co-chairs of the American Heart Association, and colleagues reviewed the existing evidence on the use of telemedicine by stroke-care systems in order to establish consensus recommendations on the use of telemedicine in primary prevention of stroke and general neurological assessment; emergency medical services notification and response; acute and subacute treatment of stroke; and secondary prevention and rehabilitation.

    "Whenever local or on-site acute stroke expertise or resources are insufficient to provide around-the-clock coverage for a health care facility, telestroke systems should be deployed to supplement resources at participating sites," Schwamm and Audebert write. "This should be done within the context of stroke systems of care model framework wherever possible."

    Several authors from the studies disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

    Abstract - Easton
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    Abstract - Schwamm
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    Abstract - Schwamm
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