The new center will offer a virtual collection of experts linked to all seven hospitals in the system. Center Director Ashis Tayal said treatment starts with a patient evaluation through telemedicine tools.
“They can image those patients to determine if they have a major blood clot in the brain and can determine who are those patients who should be transferred within the network because their strokes are so severe,” Tayal said.
Tayal said the center will also help to standardize treatment across all Allegheny Health Network facilities.
“It’s the development of high standards and rapid treatment, rapid evaluation of patients, that will benefit patients the most,” he said.
Stroke protocols have changed greatly in the last 18 months as catheter-based treatments have increasingly become the standard.
“They are highly effective treatments for the most severe forms of stroke,” Tayal said. “And there’s a focus now on how to better deliver services across entire networks.”
He said they are calling it the Cerebrovascular Center, rather than the stroke center, because it will focus on all conditions impacting blood flow in the brain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 800,000 American suffer stokes each year.