Written by Tara Garcia
The Cypress Health Region is part of a new provincial stroke pilot project.
Dr. Jason Gatzke with the Cypress Health Region explains how the project is using technology to expedite care.
“Were using a video link where patients come to the emergency room with stroke symptoms and were able to connect with the neurologist in Saskatoon with a video link that is similar to what we use with Facetime on an I-Pad. Essentially it allows the neurologist to see the patient in the emergency room in Swift Current.”
The project has resulted in the creation of a pathway to improve acute stroke care in the province with the goal of providing Saskatchewan residents with the same quality of care they would receive at any major stroke center within Canada.
Time is of the essence with stroke patients, as Dr. Gatzke explains.
“The window of time is usually no more than twelve hours, typically three hours for most strokes. We want to make the diagnosis and give the best treatment as quickly as we can.”
The new CT Scanner at the Cypress Regional Hospital is being used as part of the project.
The scanner enables doctors to take state of the art pictures which are then sent to and looked at by the radiologist in Saskatoon or Regina.
“There are two main treatments. There is a clot buster medication which must be administered within three hours, or neurosurgeons in Saskatoon are now able to go right into the patients brain and remove the clot through a surgical procedure.”, according to Dr. Gatzke
Dr. Gatzke says local patients are contributing to the research being done.
“The procedures that are being done in Saskatoon by the interventional neurosurgeons and radiologists are really consistent with what is going on across Canada and they are involved in those research protocols. So the patients that we see here in Swift Current are actually part of that research process that is ongoing throughout the country.”
The planning committee for the pilot project has been working for the past year and a half and the pilot project actually took place in Swift Current over the past summer from June through to September.
Now that the pilot is complete we plan to continue with the same stardard of care and implement it as standard practice, says Dr. Gatzk