About the Northwestern Medicine Telestroke Program
If you have a stroke and call 911, an ambulance may take you to a Comprehensive Stroke Center. If you do not have one of these centers near you, the ambulance will take you to the closest emergency department to make sure you receive care as quickly as possible. In some cases, the emergency department may use telestroke to connect you electronically with a stroke specialist at another hospital.
The Northwestern Medicine Telestroke Program features a two-way video and audio system that allows a board-certified neurologist from the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital or Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital to conduct a virtual physical examination in the Emergency Department. This specialist can also collaborate with the emergency medicine teams at area hospitals. This means you will have access to board-certified neurologists and neurosurgeons experienced in the diagnosis and management of stroke even if the hospital does not have these specialists on-site.
How Telestroke Works
Using the camera, the neurologist can perform observational tests, such as gauging how a patient’s pupils respond to light sources and monitoring how well the patient can move and speak. Simultaneously, through the use of an electronic medical record, the neurologist has instant access to the patient’s medical information, including vital signs, CT scans and laboratory results.
In some cases, you may need to be transferred to a Comprehensive Stroke Center for acute stroke treatments or a higher level of care, if it is not available at your local hospital.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital Comprehensive Stroke Center is a Telestroke Hub for nine area locations, including Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital (a Primary Stroke Center) and Northwestern Medicine Grayslake Outpatient Center.
Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Comprehensive Stroke Center is a Telestroke Hub for three area hospitals, including Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital.