JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital is teaming up with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to provide the very latest in emergency care for stroke patients.
Arkansas Saves is a program that uses a high-speed video communications system.
The real-time video allows a stroke neurologist to evaluate a patient and decide if emergency room physicians should administer a powerful blood clot dissolving agent called TPA.
Arkansas Saves allows NEA Baptist constant access to UAMS vascular neurologist.
Trauma Stroke Coordinator Pete Freire said for this life-saving service to work one important thing needs to happen first: patients need to come to the emergency room.
"What we're having a big problem with in this area and across Arkansas is people are not coming to the emergency room when they have stroke symptoms," Freire said. "They're waiting a day, they're waiting 10 hours. After that, we still care for them but it's a much different process."
Freire said Arkansas is the worst state in the country for stroke mortality and permanent disabilities.
Symptoms of stroke include one side of the face beginning to droop, slurred speech and arm numbness.