FMH Debuts Stroke Detection Program

Fairfield Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce the Telestroke Program is now available in our Emergency Department and has been since June 18. This can be a life-saving service for the possible stroke patients who present to the Emergency Department.

A neurologist will tell you that if he can get to a stroke victim within three hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke. The trick is getting a stroke recognized and diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within three hours. This is difficult but possible.

The Telestroke Program will make it easier for a possible stroke victim coming in the Emergency Department to receive treatment from a stroke specialist at Palmetto Richland Hospital through a wide-screen TV that is connected directly to the specialist. This will allow the doctor to screen the patient, make a diagnosis and prescribe appropriate medications/treatment in a timely manner.

“We are very excited to have the Telestroke Program at Fairfield Memorial,” said Mike Williams, FMH CEO. “Our goal is to provide quality care to our citizens in the county and this is just another way that we can give appropriate care without sending these patients to Columbia.”

Recognizing a Stroke:

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

• Ask the person to SMILE.

• Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (coherently).

• Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

There is now a new sign of a stroke: stick out your tongue. Ask the person to “stick” out his tongue. If the tongue is “crooked,” if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.

Understanding these symptoms could possibly save someone’s life. The more one knows, the better things will be!