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NARH is one of a small number of hospitals in Massachusetts engaged in a groundbreaking “stroke telemedicine” program with Massachusetts General Hospital. NARH is a designated Stroke Treatment Center, meeting the standards of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for such designation.
Using real-time video and audio connections, doctors in NARH’s Emergency Department are able to connect directly to stroke neurologists at MGH, as in the photo at right. The stroke specialists in Boston use the system to communicate with and see the potential stroke patient at NARH, to assist in a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
A large number of services can be offered through telemedicine, including radiology, neurology, cardiology, high-risk obstetrics, dermatology, remote wound care, and physician-to-physician consultation, among others. The telemedicine service uses the internet to transmit high-quality streaming video and audio across the state, allowing physicians in Boston and other venues to view not only the patient in the emergency department, but also diagnostic images such as CT scans and MRI films.
Stroke Warning Signs
The American Stroke Association says these are the warning signs of stroke:
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body   
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding   
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes   
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination   
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Any of these symptoms should be considered an emergency. Call 9-1-1 for assistance.
Risk factors for stroke that can be controlled or treated:
  • High blood pressure 
  • Tobacco use 
  • Diabetes mellitus 
  • Carotid or other artery disease 
  • Atrial fibrillation 
  • Other heart disease 
  • Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) 
  • Certain blood disorders 
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity and obesity
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Some illegal drugs 
Risk factors for stroke you cannot change:
  • Increasing age 
  • Sex (gender) 
  • Heredity (family history) and race 
  • Prior stroke or heart attack

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