Emergency service providers learn stroke treatment protocols

Lock Haven- Lock Haven Hospital coordinated a stroke education seminar for community emergency medical service (EMS) providers, held at the Lock Haven EMS offices.

Members of the Penn State Hershey TeleStroke program team, along with stroke program coordinators from Lock Haven Hospital, Mount Nittany Medical Center and Williamsport Regional Medical Center partnered for what was dubbed Stroke Education Speed Dating.

EMS crews from Lock Haven and the surrounding community worked their way through a series of education stations to learn the steps and protocols involved with the emergency treatment of patients suspected of suffering a stroke.

Raymond Reichwein, M.D., a stroke neurologist with Penn State Hershey, discussed emergency treatment steps providers could deliver in the field and in transport to the hospital, as well as the Telestroke program known as LionNet.

LionNet provides real-time remote audio-visual access to a neurological consult with a stroke neurologist or neurosurgeon. When a suspected stroke patient arrives at the Lock Haven Hospital emergency department, the ED provider calls LionNet and is connected to a stroke expert.

Using a sophisticated computer system and a webcam, Penn State Hershey physicians provide consultation, examine the patient, review CT scans, and speak to the patient and family in real-time.

A treatment recommendation is made and the Lock Haven Hospital ED physician determines the best course of action.

Patient Benefits

r Time saved is brain saved – early medical interventions can help reduce the damage to the brain caused by stroke

r Faster treatment improves recovery

r Treatment may be provided locally reducing the need for travel to another hospital

EMS Training

The EMS participants learned in detail some the steps they can take that will improve patient outcomes including direct screening interventions that can speed the care process. The interventions include:

r Patients placed on monitors

r IV access attempted, lab specimens collected

r Blood glucose measured

r Stroke screen performed

r Medical command notification

Providers also focused on the need for detailed documentation including:

r Document time when patient was last known to be without symptoms

r Document a point of contact

r Documenting if patient complained of headache, neck pain or stiffness

r Did the patient have a recent surgery

r Collecting a patient medications list or the name of the pharmacy the patient uses.

Representatives from medical intervention companies including the manufacturer of the clot buster, tPA and endovascular treatments also participated in the training sessions, detailing how their products work to the EMS crews.

“Our partnership with Penn State Hershey, combined with our working relationships with these first responders will offer patients in our community fast access to advanced stroke care close to home,” said Steven Davis, chief executive officer, Lock Haven Hospital. “Partnering for this detailed continuing education program with emergency medical service providers is the next step in the ongoing process of informing our community about this life saving treatment option.”

Lock Haven Hospital, is 47-bed facility with an additional 90 long-term care beds. With more than 40 medical staff members, specialties represented by physicians at the facility include: Cardiology, Family Practice, General Surgery, Gynecology, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics, Ophthalmology, urology and Pediatrics. The facility offers a full range of services including 24-hour emergency care, a birthing center, CT scanning, MRI, cardiopulmonary services, endoscopic surgery, general surgery, gynecology, an intensive care unit, imaging, obstetrics, occupational and physical therapy, outpatient surgery, pediatrics, radiology, same day surgery, a sleep lab, speech therapy, and more.