Conference Coverage

VIDEO: Meeting stroke screening demand will require systems’ reorganization



– A reorganization of stroke systems of care is needed to meet the rising demand for screening, triaging, and treating acute ischemic stroke patients who may benefit from mechanical thrombectomy, according to Lawrence Wechsler, MD.

In a video interview at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, Dr. Wechsler described steps being taken at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s comprehensive stroke center to handle the additional workload.

UPMC conducts telemedicine acute stroke evaluations of patients at community hospitals’ primary stroke centers in the greater Pittsburgh area to make sure that only the cases that require mechanical thrombectomy are transferred to them for specialized care, while also continuing to see nontransferred patients via telemedicine for follow-up, said Dr. Wechsler, chair of the department of neurology at UPMC and founder of its Stroke Institute and telestroke network.

This sort of solution may be more feasible and practical for comprehensive stroke centers to implement in order to manage the number of cases, instead of expanding neurology residencies, capping stroke services, adding a nonteaching service, adding advanced practice providers, or increasing the case loads of vascular neurology fellows and attending neurologists, he said.


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