Hancock Medical-Ochsner unveil Telestroke - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hancock Medical-Ochsner unveil Telestroke

Ochsner Health System and Hancock Medical Center unveiled their newest stroke restoration tool with a demonstration. (Photo source: WLOX) Ochsner Health System and Hancock Medical Center unveiled their newest stroke restoration tool with a demonstration. (Photo source: WLOX)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Everyone knows when it comes to a stroke, getting medical attention quickly could mean the difference between life or death. Stroke victims in and around Hancock County now have a chance to limit the amount of permanent brain damage incurred following a stroke through the use of some new technology brought to Hancock Medical Center from its sister hospital in New Orleans.

"Strokes happen when you get a clot in the brain and you can no longer get blood flow to a certain area of the brain, and that can manifest symptoms in a variety of manners. Sometimes it's obvious where you can't move the right side of your body or the left side or slurred speech," Dr. John Seymour explained to a group of community leaders.

Ochsner Health System and Hancock Medical Center unveiled their newest stroke restoration tool with a demonstration.

A doctor on a television monitor asked a pretend patient, "Do you have any other symptoms, like numbness to that side?"

The patient replied, "No. Just a little weakness."

The telemedicine program has a stroke patient talking to a neurologist at Ochsners in New Orleans, live via a secure internet connection and a camera, within 10 minutes of coming into Hancock Medical Center.

"Through the telemedicine system that we have, and we're 40 hospitals across Mississippi and Louisiana, about 70 percent of the patients are able to stay local by having access to that specialized doctor within minutes of their arrival. So yes, some patients are going to need to see that specialized doctor over at Ochsners in New Orleans, but most of them are going to be able to be diagnosed and be able to be treated and receive all of their care right here in their community of Hancock Medical Center," said Liz Cothren, Vice President of Ochsner CareConnect.

The telemedicine technology allows doctors to talk with the patient's family members as well so joint decisions for future care can be made. The new equipment gets high marks from someone who has experienced it.

"My mother had a stroke, and she was actually treated through this procedure of telemedicine with Dr. Vadaul. We saw how it worked. It's very effective, and the thought that we don't have to leave Hancock County to have this service is fabulous," said Bay St. Louis resident Tish Williams.

It's technology that's now here at home when every second counts.

The new technology was purchased through a grant given to Ochsner from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and money from the Hancock Medical Foundation.

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