Tulane Health system’s TeleStroke Network to support Pearl River County

Published 9:48 am Friday, April 13, 2018

NEW ORLEANS — Tulane Health System’s acclaimed Tulane Expert teleConsulting– or TEC – network is now supporting Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home in Poplarville, Mississippi, providing patients and caregivers there with 24-hour, on-call access to Tulane’s stroke and neuroscience experts for acute stroke consultation.

Using the TEC system, physicians at Pearl River can communicate via a two-way, live video, audio and image-sharing system with stroke neurologists from Tulane Health System. Those experts can evaluate the patient in real time to diagnose a stroke and work with local physicians to determine the best treatment options.

“I am looking forward to working with Tulane Health System’s stroke and neuroscience team to assist our emergency room providers in evaluating patients that may be having a stroke,” said Dr. William F. McArthur, Pearl River County Hospital’s chief medical officer. “The technology and expertise provided by the Tulane Expert TeleConsulting Network will help our patients receive care much faster and ensure they have a seamless transfer for definitive care for a stroke or other brain injury. 

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“Time is critical in a stroke situation, and this partnership will significantly improve patient outcomes.”

According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 strokes occur in the United States each year. Stroke is the country’s fifth-leading cause of death and its leading cause of adult disability. These numbers have decreased in recent years because of greater patient awareness of stroke symptoms and improved access to stroke care and experts through programs like telemedicine, said Dr. Aimee Aysenne, a neurologist with the Tulane Neuroscience Center and one of the stroke experts who consults with TEC’s partner facilities.

“This is a personal passion for me,” Dr. Aysenne said. “I’m from a rural part of Louisiana, and I know my parents would be hours away from the care they’d need if not for something like this. For best outcomes, a stroke has to be identified – and treatment has to begin – within three hours. Time is critical, and this technology helps stroke experts connect with rural hospitals and their patients in just a few moments.”

Tulane’s stroke program was the first in New Orleans to be certified by the Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, representing its ability to care for the most complex stroke cases. The American Heart Association has awarded the Tulane stroke program its “Gold Plus” recognition, and Tulane is the first in the state to receive its “Target: Stroke Honor Roll – Elite Plus” award, the highest achievement level possible. The Tulane Neuroscience Center provides a full range of adult and pediatric services – from stroke care to neurosurgery, neurology and neuroimaging – which offer a full continuum of care should patients need to be transferred because of highly complex or advanced cases.

Pearl River County Hospital joins Our Lady of the Angels Hospital in Bogalusa, Louisiana, as the seventh and eighth hospitals in the Gulf South region to join the TEC network. Other member hospitals include Louisiana facilities Hood Memorial Hospital in Amite, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital in Lake Charles, Prevost Memorial Hospital in Donaldsonville, Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria and Riverside Medical Center in Franklinton, as well as Garden Park Medical Center in Gulfport, Mississippi.

“Telemedicine lets us reach into a community, connect with providers there and let them consult with a stroke expert immediately. Of course, technology can only go so far – people need to know stroke symptoms, and get to a hospital as quickly as they can if a stroke is suspected,” said Dr. Justin Salerian, a neurologist and the director of the Tulane stroke program. “We teach the acronym F.A.S.T: Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, Time is critical. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, call 911 immediately.”

To learn more, please visit TulaneHealthcare.com/Stroke.

About Tulane Health System:

Tulane Health System is an acclaimed teaching, research and medical system serving the greater New Orleans area. Tulane has more than 500 credentialed physicians who provide leading-edge care, ranging from primary to tertiary to quaternary. Facilities in the New Orleans area include Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children, Tulane Pediatrics, Tulane Cancer Center Comprehensive Clinic, Tulane Transplant Institute, Tulane Multispecialty Center Metairie, Tulane Multispecialty Center Uptown, Tulane Multispecialty Center Downtown and the Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine. Tulane Health System is a partnership jointly owned by HCA and Tulane University. For more information about Tulane Medical Center, please visit www.TulaneHealthcare.com or call 1-800-588-5800.

About Pearl River County Hospital:

Pearl River County Hospital & Nursing Home has been focused providing the citizens of Poplarville and the surrounding areas with quality healthcare close to home since opening in 1957. In 1970, services were expanded with the addition of a 60-bed nursing home. In 2010, Pearl River County Hospital became a Critical Access Hospital. With this designation, Pearl River County Hospital opened a 24-hour emergency room, which provides critical care and life-saving intervention for the under-served rural population of Pearl River, Hancock and surrounding counties, and its 24 inpatient beds provide professional care for acute care and swing bed patients. Ancillary services include radiological imaging, laboratory, respiratory, wound care as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Learn more at www.prc-med.com.