James Wolf, of Petoskey, Michigan, had always been an active and independent 86 year old. He drove his own car, went grocery shopping, paid the bills, helped his wife with the household chores, and was active in his local church. On March 8, he had a bit of a cold with a nagging cough and decided to lay down for a nap around 11 a.m. When his wife went to check on him that afternoon, he was found unable to move or talk. He was transferred to McLaren Northern Michigan Emergency Department, where he underwent a CT scan and exam that determined he had suffered a stroke and small heart attack. At that point, the Emergency Department implemented an innovative service to further diagnose James. As part of the McLaren Stroke Network, McLaren Northern Michigan utilizes TeleStroke technology to facilitate the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients through telecommunication. This telemedicine system allowed interventional neurologist Aniel Majjhoo, MD, to be present at James’ bedside in Petoskey while Dr. Majjhoo was physically located in Flint. Through this sophisticated TeleStroke technology, Dr. Majjhoo was able to review James’ CT scans as well as conduct an exam of James and assess his symptoms. After determining that a blood clot in the brain was causing the stroke, Dr. Majjhoo discussed treatment plans with the onsite physician and James’ family through the telemedicine system. It was decided that James’ best option was to be emergency air lifted to McLaren Flint, where Dr. Majjhoo would perform an emergency thrombectomy, or blood clot removal. Teresa Sawchuk and Sue Krepps, James’ daughters, drove from Petoskey to McLaren Flint to be with him. Dr. Majjhoo met with James’ family in the ICU waiting room as soon as they arrived at the hospital. “Dr. Majjhoo was great,” Teresa said. “He told us that the procedure was successful and even took out his phone Petoskey resident, James Wolf, had the support of family when he was treated by McLaren’s Stroke Network. Petoskey patient benefits from McLaren Stroke Network and showed us pictures of my dad’s blood clot in the brain and another of the brain with the clot removed and full blood flow. He even escorted us to our dad’s ICU room.” As another support service, the family was set up in a room at McLaren Flint’s Hospitality House, which provides convenient and comfortable lodging for families of patients who are undergoing service at McLaren Flint. James was at McLaren Flint for one week after his thrombectomy. He went back to Petoskey and spent 15 days in McLaren Northern Michigan’s Acute Rehabilitation Center. During that time, James regained all of his movement, and his mental capacity is just as sharp as it was prior to the stroke. He is back walking on an indoor track several times a week and helping with chores and errands. “It is difficult when a loved one is going through a health emergency,” stated Teresa. “Each person we encountered through the McLaren Stroke Network process wascompassionate, helpful, and provided comfort during this scary ordeal.” For information on the McLaren Stroke Network, contact mclaren.org/stroke. This telemedicine system allowed interventional neurologist Aniel Majjhoo, MD, to be present at James’ bedside in Petoskey while Dr. Majjhoo was physically located in Flint.
Innovative Health Care Magazine
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