How telemedicine helped treat an RN for stroke at her own hospital

A registered nurse case manager for MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland woke up with a headache and said she felt dizzy off and on throughout the day, according to Midland Daily News.

By the afternoon, her left side was numb and she had trouble walking.

A friend and colleague immediately knew what was up: Sarah Phelps needed to be treated for stroke. She was immediately taken to the hospital's emergency department, where a physician called for the critical stroke protocol.

A CT scan showed Ms. Phelps suffered an acute ischemic stroke due to bilateral vertebral artery dissections, but while she was having the imaging done, the emergency team was setting up for a telemedicine consult with a stroke expert located across the state, neurologist Mollie McDermott, MD, medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Program at Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine.

"Ms. Phelps' case was very complicated, and the teamwork between MidMichigan Health and Michigan Medicine was essential in providing her timely and appropriate care," Dr. McDermott told the publication. "The Michigan Medicine team was able to evaluate Ms. Phelps over video, and then meet her in person, which was a very rewarding experience."

MidMichigan Health Director of Trauma and Telehealth Tom Wood, BSN, RN, explained Ms. Phelps is one of many treated with telemedicine through MidMichigan's partnership with Michigan Medicine. In fact, a consult with Michigan Medicine specialists is part of the protocol for assessing and treating stroke patients at MidMichigan Health Emergency Departments.

"You can go to any MidMichigan Health Emergency Department and you get the same stroke treatment as if you had walked in the ER in Ann Arbor," Mr. Wood told Midland Daily News. "That's the beauty of telemedicine — it eliminates the need for everything to happen at a particular location."

As for Ms. Phelps, she is grateful to have been in the best place possible to have a stroke: a hospital will access to all the right resources.

"Telemedicine is the coolest new technology I have seen in a long time," Ms. Phelps told Midland Daily News. "To have that specialist right there with me when I needed them was amazing."

More articles on telehealth:
Alabama hospital uses telehealth to minimize travel times for kidney transplant patients
Report: One-third of patients who used a hospital's telehealth platform received in-person care at the facility within 1 year
Providence St. Joseph Health launches telehealth network across western US

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