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May 5th, 2021 Baptist Health South Florida

Baptist Health’s Fishermen’s Community Hospital and Mariners Hospital Add Telestroke Technology to Enhance Patient Care

TAVERNIER AND MARATHON, FL – May 5, 2021 – Baptist Health’s Fishermen’s Community Hospital and Mariners Hospital have added Telestroke services to give patients with stroke symptoms 24/7 emergency access to Miami Neuroscience Institute neurologists who can best diagnose and treat the life-threatening condition.

The American Stroke Association lists stroke as the number five cause of death in the United States. To increase survival and limit long-term effects of a stroke, a patient has up to 4.5 hours from the onset of symptoms to receive intravenous alteplase.

“This is a great development for the Key’s community as it brings reliable 24/7 neurology expertise to the bedside for the evaluation and treatment of stroke,” said Felipe De Los Rios, M.D., medical director of the Stroke Program at Baptist Health’s Miami Neuroscience Institute. “Stroke treatment is associated with significantly improved quality of life after a stroke, but the treatment has to be provided within hours of symptom onset in order to have the best chances of success.”

As soon as a patient with stroke symptoms enters the Emergency Department, the attending team issues a stroke alert and connects with an on-call neurologist at Miami Neuroscience Institute. The patient’s diagnostic imaging results are promptly sent to the consulting physician for review. Using a specialized video cart with two-way, live video and audio hook-up, the neurologist performs an evaluation that includes communicating and interacting with the patient, family members and care team to get vital information, such as the precise time symptoms began to occur. The advanced technology enables the physician to evaluate the patient’s responses and zoom in on tiny details, such as the patient’s pupils. The neurologist then collaborates with the emergency team to determine the best course of action, which may include the administration of a clot-busting drug.

“Time is key when it comes to treating stroke patients,” said Dawn Hire, DNP, R.N., NE-BC, director of Nursing in the Emergency Department at Baptist Health’s Mariners and Fishermen’s Community Hospitals. “This technology is the fastest way to connect patients to a board-certified neurologist and is leading to better survival rates and improved patient outcomes.”

Dr. De Los Rios added, “This service also allows Mariners Hospital to apply for Acute Stroke Ready Hospital Certification from The Joint Commission, which signifies excellence in the care of stroke patients and allows for more patients to be treated locally without the need for costly emergency air transfers to larger hospitals in Miami.”

About Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net/Newsroom and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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