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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Boston stroke expertise exported to Seattle

A Seattle hospital has hired Dr. Lee Schwamm, director of acute stroke services, and his colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital to help them build a remote stroke service for community hospitals in Washington state.

Many stroke patients do not get the best treatment available because time is of the essence and few community hospitals are staffed at all hours by brain doctors with the expertise to make treatment decisions. To address this problem, Massachusetts is among the first states where neurologists have begun to recommend treatment for stroke patients without seeing them in person. Using telemedicine, they read brain scans over the Internet at all hours and consult over live video hookups.

Fourteen community hospitals in Massachusetts have signed contracts with Mass. General's "telestroke" service, and Swedish Medical Center in Seattle is the first to hire the Mass. General team as consultants.

-- Liz Kowalczyk

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