“Telestroke” helps patients at smaller hospitals, from Stroke, a Harvard Medical School report

Not all hospitals have the most up-to-date technology for evaluating people who may be having a stroke. But emergency rooms with access to a rapid-response stroke center via a consultation system known as "telestroke" can minimize brain damage caused by stroke, according to Stroke: Preventing and Treating "Brain Attack," a new report from Harvard Medical School.

When stroke symptoms occur, quick action is vital. Getting to a hospital emergency room, preferably one that specializes in treating stroke, is crucial. To prevent brain cell death, treatment is most effective if it starts within an hour of the start of the stroke. One of the main clot-dissolving drugs, tPA, must be given within a few hours after symptoms appear.

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