Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre Joins Ontario Telestroke Network

The Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Center has joined the Ontario Telestroke Network (OTN) and now has access to a stroke neurologist 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Technology enables emergency physicians to have, on demand, a “live” neurologist consultation to make timely decisions about treatment for their stroke patients. Patients who present within the appropriate time frame, after onset of stroke symptoms, may be candidates to receive tissue plasminogen activator (tPA); the drug that has the potential to dissolve blood clots in the brain and reverse the effects of the stroke.

How does it work? The stroke neurologist sits in front of a TV screen with video cameras. From your hospital bed you will look at a TV screen and video camera and see the stroke neurologist. The neurologist can ask questions and see how you are doing as if you were together in the same room. An emergency nurse or physician is with you to help you and the stroke neurologist during the examination. If you are able to receive the drug, you will be monitored for 24 hours and then sent to the stroke unit in Thunder Bay for more specialized treatment.

Ms. Barb Linkewich, VP Clinical Services & Research at SLMHC, said, “There are many benefits of having access to the OTN. For example:

  • Better health outcomes: stroke is the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of acquired long term disability in adults. The sooner a stroke is treated, the less brain damage a patient sustains. With telestroke, patients are seen by a neurologist within minutes of arriving in emergency, regardless of the distance between them.
  • Saves time: There is no critical time lost in transporting an acute stroke patient to another site for specialized diagnosis and treatment.
  • Save money: by reducing brain damage caused by strokes, Ontario’s health system can avoid expensive hospitalization costs.
  • Stroke can be treated. That’s why it is so important to recognize and respond to the warning signs immediately!”

Ms. Lisa Seamark, Stroke Prevention Nurse at SLMHC, added, “It’s important to become aware of the five signs you may be having a stroke:

  • Weakness: sudden loss of strength or sudden numbness in the face arm or leg, even temporary.
  • Trouble speaking: sudden difficulty speaking, or understanding, or sudden confusion, even if temporary.
  • Vision problems: sudden trouble with vision, even if temporary.
  • Headache: sudden severe and unusual headache.
  • Dizziness: sudden loss of balance, especially with any of the above signs.

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.”

For more information, please contact:

Barb Linkewich, VP, Clinical Services & Research
Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre

Lisa Seamark, Stroke Prevention Nurse
Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre
Telephone: 807-737-3030