People with acute ischemic stroke treated in a hospital with telestroke capacity were more likely to receive reperfusion treatment and had lower mortality at 30 days post-stroke. The mortality benefit was lost at 6 months post-stroke.
Why this matters
Timely recanalization in patients with acute ischemic stroke significantly reduces disability and mortality. Patients suitable for thrombolysis or thrombectomy must be rapidly identified to reduce “door-to-needle” time and improve outcomes, but the stroke expertise required is missing in many hospitals.
Telestroke capacity allows hospitals without on-site expertise to access real-time video consults with off-site specialists to help evaluate the patient and guide care. It is possible that hospitals benefiting from telestroke services have improved care patterns and patient outcomes.