Stroke patients at Claiborne Memorial Medical Center now have immediate access to highly specialized neurologists as the result of a partnership between CMMC and Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans (Ochsner). Through the Telestroke network, emergency department physicians have the ability to consult immediately with Ochsner neurologists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year using telemedicine equipment to determine the best treatment options for stroke patients.Telemedicine programs improve the quality of care for patients outside of urban areas by allowing them access to specialists and by reducing the costs associated with travel and the time spent away from work and family.Dr. Mark Haynes, Chief of Staff at Claiborne Memorial Medical Center says, "The physicians and nurses at Claiborne Memorial Medical Center are excited to be a partner with Ochsner's Telehealth in this potentially lifesaving program. It allows the physician that you know and trust from our Emergency Department to be in very rapid contact with Ochsner physicians who specialize in the emergency treatment of strokes. Our equipment will let those specialists see and hear our patients in real time, and allow them to literally be at the bedside with us in those critical first hours of managing strokes."Ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage in a blood vessel that stops the flow of blood to the brain and deprives the surrounding brain tissue of oxygen. In the absence of oxygen, the brain cells in the immediate area begin to die, causing permanent brain damage, disability or death. Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke, so immediate medical attention can save a life and limit disabilities.When a patient comes into the emergency department at Claiborne Memorial Medical Center with the symptoms of an acute ischemic stroke, a computer with an advanced webcam will be brought to the bedside where the clinical team will connect with a neurologist on call at Ochsner. The neurologist, patient and clinical team at Claiborne Memorial Medical Center can see and speak to each other throughout the consult. The physician will examine the patient and review the CAT scan of the patient's head, providing guidance on advanced treatments within minutes.In many cases, Telestroke consultation will allow patients to stay at Claiborne Memorial Medical Center. In more complicated cases the patient may need to be transferred to Ochsner or another facility for specialized treatment. Telestroke is still beneficial in these cases because the neurologist will have already met and started treatment the patient."Our partnership with the Ochsner TeleHealth program will allow our medical staff to have immediate access to a Neurologist to provide evaluations and consults to help deliver the appropriate care right here in our local community. This program will increase quality of care and decrease the wait for appropriate care all while the patient stays here in Claiborne Parish," says Toni Goodin, CEO at Claiborne Memorial Medical Center.