Hawaii Tele-Stroke Program

Hawaii Tele-Stroke Program

Project Funded by the Neurotrauma Special Fund:
Hawaii Tele-Stroke Program (2011 – present)


Project Goals:

  • Goal 1: Improve statewide access to timely, expert stroke care evaluation and treatment with Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) and educate providers on stroke evaluation and treatment.
  • Goal 2: Educate the public about stroke signs, symptoms, and what to do if someone may be experiencing a stroke.

What is tPA?

  • The only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (1996) for acute treatment of ischemic stroke – breaks up or dissolves blood clots.
  • For every 100 patients given tPA within 4.5 hours of onset of stroke symptoms, 28 patients will suffer less long-term disabilities than if they had not received the medication.

Goal 1:

  • Funding was used to purchase telemedicine equipment for Queen’s Medical Center (QMC) Punchbowl (the “hub”) and the eight statewide “spoke” sites (see diagram below).
  • Emergency Department doctors and nurses, hospitalists, and administrators of the hub and spoke hospitals were educated on stroke care protocols and use of the telemedicine technology.
  • QMC Punchbowl serves as the hub and has a neurologist on-call 24/7/365, available to the other 8 hospitals to evaluate stroke patients via the telemedicine equipment and make recommendations regarding whether or not to treat with tPA.
  • The program allows more hospitals to have the capacity to care for stroke patients, meaning that patients living in rural areas of the state can go to a closer hospital and receive treatment sooner, which is imperative to improving patients’ outcomes.

Hawaii Telestroke Program

Goal 2: Educate the public about stroke signs, symptoms, and what to do if someone may be experiencing a stroke

  • Funding is also provided to educate the public on:
    • Signs and symptoms of stroke
    • Stroke risk factors
    • Importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately after the onset of stroke symptoms
    • The availability of effective treatment with tPA
  • Education is provided through:
    • Attendance at health/wellness/senior/resource fairs
    • Presentations at elementary, middle, and high schools
    • Appearances on local radio and television shows
    • Articles in community newsletters and local newspapers
    • Presentations to local clubs, professional organizations, places of employment, and senior living centers
    • FAST School Stroke Education Program (June 2017)
      • Educated nine public elementary, intermediate, and high schools on the signs and symptoms of stroke and what to do if someone is having a stroke
      • Students were asked to review what they learned with family members and those who returned with a parent signature received a rubber duck key chain.
      • A total of 11,454 individuals received the FAST stroke education message

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