O’Bleness Joins OhioHealth Stroke Network

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One Athens hospital is now connected to larger, Columbus-based partners to serve the region's stroke victims faster.

As part of O’Bleness Hospital’s public relations overhaul, the facility has joined the OhioHealth Stroke Network.

The OhioHealth Stroke Network uses new technology to diagnose and treat stroke patients at regional hospitals like O’Bleness.

This is a collaborative effort between local emergency room physicians in Athens and neurologists in Columbus.

The doctors at local emergency rooms use real-time video conferencing technology to work with neurologists at larger hospitals to view test results, make accurate diagnoses and decide a quick course of action for patient care. Riverside Methodist Hospital and Grant Medical Center in Columbus–the hubs of the stroke network–are the premier stroke hospitals.

O’Bleness Health Systems President and CEO John Yanes says when it comes to strokes and other brain injuries, the timeliness of a diagnosis is an important factor in lessening the severity of the injury to the patient.

Yanes explains the inclusion in the Stroke Network will allow the emergency room to speed up its reaction to injury.

“If a patient presents in our emergency department with symptoms of a stroke, this new stroke network, and again technology, will allow us to access the patient and treat them very promptly and allow them access to the care that they need,” says Yanes.

Stroke is among the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. According to the American Stroke Association, one person dies every four minutes because of a stroke.

The neurological assistance provided by the Stroke Network allows patients who need critical care to be transported quickly to the larger hospitals, which improves the patient's chances for full recovery.

According to the OhioHealth Stroke Network Annual Report for 2011, 197 patients throughout Ohio were treated with Stroke Network technology from November 2010 through June 2011.