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As this year’s National Stroke Week nears an end (8-14 August 2022), Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson is recognising the successful rollout of the NSW Telestroke Service in Tamworth.

Mr Anderson said the NSW Telestroke Service was an important weapon in the fight against stroke.

“Stroke is a critical medical emergency that can kill up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute,” Mr Anderson said.

“It’s critical to act quickly. Every second counts having access to Telestroke in Tamworth is a huge benefit to local patients and clinicians.”

Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said Telestroke ensures patients can be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible.

“Doctors in our rural and regional hospitals are connected with the state’s leading clinicians via video consultation, where together they can determine the most appropriate treatment option for each patient,” Mrs Taylor said.

The Tamworth Telestroke went live on 25 August 2021 and has since benefitted several patients. The Hunter New England LHD has had 237 telestroke cases.

Every year, around 19,000 residents in NSW have a stroke and more than a third of people hospitalised for stroke in NSW are from regional, remote or rural areas.

The F.A.S.T test is an easy way to spot the signs of stroke. FAST stands for:

  • Face - Has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms - Can the person lift both arms?
  • Speech - Is the person’s speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time - Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

The $21.7 million NSW Telestroke Service is jointly funded by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments. The service connects 23 rural and regional hospitals across NSW with a network of virtual specialist stroke doctors, managed by the Prince of Wales Hospital.

Implementation of the NSW Telestroke Service is a collaboration between the Prince of Wales Hospital, eHealth NSW, the Agency for Clinical Innovation, and the Ministry of Health, with support from the Stroke Foundation.

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