Time-critical treatment to regional stroke patient supported by telehealth

A gentleman standing in front of a television screen that features a woman on it
FSH Consultant Dr Darshan Ghia with Bunbury patient Joan Wingrove who received time-critical revascularisation stroke treatment using telehealth
March 30, 2017

When Busselton resident Joan Wingrove suffered a stroke in November last year, she was taken directly to Bunbury Hospital.

Joan received time-critical revascularisation stroke treatment by the Bunbury Emergency Department specialists, with the Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) Neurology team supporting via telehealth consultation – this treatment was a first for a WACHS health site.

Bunbury ED consultant Jason Pierce conferred with FSH neurology consultant Dr Tapuwa Musuka, and facilitated a TeleStroke consult with the Joan, her family and the ED team.

Under watchful care, Joan received ‘clot-busting’ thrombolysis medication. The Bunbury ED specialists were then able to facilitate the rapid transfer via helicopter for further clot retrieval at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

This time-critical treatment meant that Joan was able to return home after a short stay at the FSH Stroke Unit without further inpatient rehabilitation.

In February, FSH stroke neurology consultant Darshan Ghia conducted a follow-up review with Joan via telehealth.

“Using telehealth has allowed us to review Joan’s recovery and develop on-going strategies to minimise her risk of further stroke without the burden of her travelling to Perth,” Darshan said.

WACHS TeleStroke Project Lead Steph Waters said this patient’s story was a watershed for rural stroke care.

“This is a great example of shared care between rural and tertiary health using telehealth to enable access to stroke specialist advice and support delivery of time critical care that would not have been possible otherwise.”

Joan’s daughter said the family was very grateful to ‘have her back’ and that Joan was also very grateful to all the staff involved in her treatment.