Northwestern Medicine operates the two major hospitals in DeKalb County, but the majority of its resources for stroke care are based at Central DuPage Hospital. That’s why Kishwaukee and Valley West Hospitals are making use of a telestroke system so doctors can videoconference with area patients. Stroke coordinator Caryn Josh says it’s one of the first steps in patient care.
“They get that initial CT. They get back to the emergency department room and then we initiate the telestroke robot," she said. "We’re kind of involved from the very beginning with the treatment.”
From there, Kishwaukee Hospital Emergency Room Manager Kristen Tindall says it's a matter of triage.
“They will do an assessment of the patient and then determine if the patient should receive TPA, a clotbusting drug," she said. "And if that patient is receiving TPA, then arrange for transfer to CDH if appropriate.”
Northwestern Medicine officials says the system makes it so not as many cases have to make the journey to Central DuPage's stroke center. For less severe stroke patients, Kishwaukee Hospital has its own neurologists on hand.