Every minute matters when treating a patient with stroke symptoms, and
Cortland Regional Medical Center has recently partnered with Upstate University
Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center to ensure that patients have
access to excellent stroke care, regardless of their location. When patients
with stroke symptoms arrive at the Cortland Regional emergency department,
CRMC physicians will now be able to consult with neurologists at Upstate
through a new telemedicine program.
Cortland Regional is one of five New York hospitals that have recently
partnered with Upstate to provide telemedicine support for stroke care.
This technology connects Cortland Regional physicians to neurologists
in Syracuse, allowing them to talk with the patient and share other vital
information via videoconference. Within minutes an Upstate neurologist
will be able to review the CT scan, examine the patient, and determine
the best course of treatment in consultation with Cortland Regional emergency
“Acute stroke care is both complicated and very time critical. This
partnership will enable us to get guidance from the stroke experts at
Upstate so that we can provide the best possible care to our patients
here in Cortland without delay,” says Dr. David Wirtz, Medical Director
of the Emergency Department at Cortland Regional Medical Center.
“About 1.9 million neurons die every minute after a large vessel
occlusion or stroke,” says Jennifer Schleier, RN, BSN, CCRN, and
program manager of Upstate’s Comprehensive Stroke Center. “Having
access to an Upstate neurologist at a moment’s notice can make all
of the difference in the world to the outcome of that stroke patient.
We want to give stroke patients the best chance at not only survival but
for a life with little or no disability.”
The standard protocol for ischemic (non-hemorrhagic) stroke treatment is
intravenous tPA, a clot-busting drug that can provide the best benefit
to patients if administered within a short time after the first signs
“This new technology will also allow us to deliver high quality care
without the stress of transferring patients unnecessarily,” adds
Tammy Aiken, Cortland Regional’s Director of Emergency Services.
CRMC’s emergency department will be encouraged to keep uncomplicated
patients in Cortland. Should a patient need to be transported to Syracuse
for advanced care, an Upstate Comprehensive Stroke Center Specialist will
Upstate is the region’s only Comprehensive Stroke Center as designated
by DNV healthcare, a national hospital accrediting body. Upstate is also
recognized as a primary stroke center as designated by the state Department