James Grotta, MD: The Future of Stroke Care Going into 2021


The vascular neurologist at Memorial Hermann Medical Group explained how clinical stroke care will change in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In general, the message needs to get out to people that hospitals are not alien places. Ambulances aren’t an alien place. If you’re sick, you need to call for help right away.”

Paired with telemedicine, mobile stroke units (MSUs) have become 1 of the most impactful ways to treat stroke victims in a timely manner. Patients with stroke have been able to experience higher rates of thrombolysis, faster alarm to treatment times, and greater functional outcomes when in the presence of MSUs. More and more hospitals and academic centers have begun to incorporate this technology, which in effect can expand the reach that specialists have to save patients with stroke on site.

In a year in which stroke rates were down due to government lockdown, the value of mobile stroke units and telemedicine has never been higher. James Grotta, MD, vascular neurologist, Memorial Hermann Medical Group, believes these 2 innovations will proliferate the most in the coming year. Grotta continued to stress that patients who experience stroke need to reach out for emergency medical services (EMS) so that these ways of care can be effectively utilized.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Grotta harped on the importance of MCUs and why patients with stroke should not hesitate to seek EMS help. He also outlined why telemedicine and televisits will help patients adhere to a more rigid treatment regimen.

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