Memorial partners with Swedish to bring TeleStroke to Yakima - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Memorial partners with Swedish to bring TeleStroke to Yakima

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YAKIMA, Wash. – Memorial Hospital will begin using a new program in its Emergency Department to better treat stroke victims with the help of Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.

The final preparations are taking place during May, National Stroke Awareness Month, and should be ready in early June.

The TeleStroke system is a video conferencing program that will give a better assessment of potential stroke victims with the help of another doctor.

Dr. Chris Schmelzer of Memorial says this is essential when time is a significant factor in helping patients.

"Each minute that we wait for treatment, more brain dies and our window in stroke is three to four hours at most to initiate treatment," he said.

Doctors at Memorial will make a an initial review of anyone that might have suffered a stroke and then staff at Swedish can use the TeleStroke to examine the patient themselves and make their assessment.

Schmelzer says the advantage of this new program will be another set of eyes on the patient and the end of consultation over the phone.

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