Oconto Falls – When someone is having a stroke, every minute that passes until they receive the appropriate medical care can mean the difference between life and death. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital now offers new, state-of-the-art technology that allows for faster, improved care of stroke patients. It’s called, Telestroke.
Telestroke is telemedicine technology that connects stroke patients and emergency department physicians with highly-skilled stroke experts with the click of a button. When a patient with stroke symptoms arrives at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital’s emergency department, they receive immediate, hands-on care and assessment from the highly-skilled doctors and nurses on staff. Then, Telestroke technology – which includes a camera and microphone for live, two-way audio and video – is used to make immediate contact with a neurologist, or physician who specializes in stroke care.
The technology allows the neurologist to speak with the patient and thoroughly examine them. Telestroke also includes a camera with a zoom function, allowing the neurologist to assess the patient’s pupil reactivity and their ability to move and speak. Once the neurologist has examined the patient, they can then consult with the on-staff emergency department physician at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital about the best course of treatment for the patient.
Prior to Telestroke, Emergency Department physicians at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital would consult with neurologists over the phone to determine the next steps in care for the patient. “Telestroke allows a neurologist to see a patient immediately at their bedside and work with the Emergency Department physicians and nurses face-to-face,” said Paula Bake, RN, and Emergency Department Facilitator at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital. “This leads to quicker decision-making and life-saving treatment for the patient.”
During a stroke, an estimated two million brain cells die per minute, meaning that time lost is brain lost. Evidence shows that a stroke patient’s outcomes and recovery are far better the quicker you can evaluate and treat a stroke. Thanks to Telestroke and the communication it allows between stroke experts, stroke patients and emergency department physicians – HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital can more quickly treat stroke patients and reduce or eliminate long-term stroke impacts on their patients.
Facts from National Stroke Association
  • 795,000 people have strokes in the U.S. each year
  • 610,000 of those who have strokes in the U.S. each year are experiencing them for the first time
  • 129,000 people died from stroke in 2013
  • Stroke is a medical emergency. Identify stroke symptoms by acting FAST:
    • Face – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop?
    • Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
    • Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred?
    • Time – If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
About HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital serves Oconto Falls and the surrounding communities as a federally-designated critical access hospital with a 24-hour physician-staffed emergency department, urgent care, general, vascular and orthopedic surgical services, inpatient and outpatient surgical and diagnostic services, rehabilitation, oncology outpatient clinic and women’s care. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, in affiliation with Prevea Health, has six regional health center locations in Gillett, Lena, Mountain, Oconto, Oconto Falls and Suring. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Pharmacies are located in Gillett and Oconto Falls. Founded in 1921 as Community Memorial Hospital, in 2014, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital became the fourteenth hospital in Hospital Sisters Health System. As an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System, we draw on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as we move to continue serving the health care needs of our area in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. For more information about St. Clare, visit www.stclarememorial.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 13 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Belleville, Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Highland, Litchfield, and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org.  For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.

Media Contact

Dana Jermstad

Director of Communications and Public Relations
 (920) 429-1752


Angela Deja

Public Relations Manager
(920) 272-3360

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