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Stroke care in Galicia: telemedicine in the early, multidisciplinary treatment of all acute stroke cases

Rodr√≠guez-Castro E, V√°zquez-Lima MJ, Rodr√≠guez-Y√°√Īez M, Verde L, Castillo J

Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago (IDIS), Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Servicio de Urgencias, Hospital do Salnés, Vilagarcía de Arousa (Pontevedra), Spain. Gerencia de Gestión Integrada de Santiago de Compo

Stroke is the main cause of morbidity and mortality in Spain and in Galicia in particular. Tissue viability after stroke depends on the time taken to restore circulation. The widely dispersed and aging population of this region challenges efforts to provide equal care for patients with time-sensitive emergencies such as stroke. Two regional hospitals (Hospital do Salnés and Hospital do Barbanza) and the reference Hospital Clínico de Santiago launched a telestroke pilot program in 2011 in which patients whose treatment was guided at a distance were discharged with lower levels of stroke severity and mortality. That outcome was probably attributable to more rapid diagnosis. Given those preliminary results and the characteristics of the population, the centrally coordinated Galician Stroke Care Plan was launched in
2016 to provide a telemedicine service that connects all hospitals in the health system of Galicia. This paper summarizes the experience of developing and implementing the program.

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