Stroke Center

Sequoyah Memorial Hospital has worked diligently to overcome hurdles many rural healthcare providers face, such as limited resources, proximity, and size. Proudly, on May 13, 2010, Sequoyah Memorial Hospital was deemed a Stroke Center by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, marked as a leader in stroke treatment!
Do you know the signs of stroke? Click here for a printable guide.

Sequoyah Memorial's region ranks number one in the nation for the incidence of stroke among residents. The area is lumped into the Fort Smith metropolitan area; Arkansas ranks number one in the nation for stroke. This knowledge drove Sequoyah Memorial to break into the field of telemedicine, providing residents with immediate access to life-saving healthcare. Sequoyah Memorial first began the process of obtaining telemedicine services in the summer of 2008.

Currently, Sequoyah Memorial is partnered with Mercy Hospital Fort Smith to evaluate and treat stroke patients. Utilizing our telemedicine equipment, the staff at Sequoyah Memorial is able to connect with specialists at Mercy and evaluate stroke patients in real-time. Thanks to vital equipment, qualified trained staff, and access to specialized care, patients receive life-saving stroke treatment in their own community, in their local hospital.

Thankfully, gone are the days when patients in rural communities must drive to the nearest big city to consult a medical specialist or get advanced medical advice critical to their health. Sequoyah Memorial’s telemedicine equipment is used not only for stroke intervention and treatment, but also for other specialties and provides critical medical support and access to specialists in urban areas. Nursing staff and physicians are certified in American Heart NIH Stroke Certification. SMH’s stroke team is comprised of physicians, nurses, pharmacy technicians, lab and radiology technologists, clerical staff, and information technology staff. Sequoyah Memorial is excited to continue to improve efficiency, optimize quality, and improve patient care.

The citizens of Sequoyah County are reaping the benefits! Sequoyah Memorial has had many success stories of patients who have been treated for stroke symptoms in the emergency room through the use of the telestroke equipment. Austin O’Neal began having stroke symptoms while driving to work. Not ten minutes down the road, he knew that something serious was wrong. Severe pain radiated into his right shoulder then down into his right arm. "The minute I arrived at Sequoyah Memorial I was put in a wheelchair and taken to the back," said O'Neal. "By this time about 35 to 40 minutes had elapsed from when I first started having symptoms. By this time, I had lost complete movement on my right side." Mr. O'Neal's suspected diagnosis was a stroke. Within minutes, the Stroke Team was connected to Dr. Tremwel and Mr. O'Neal was evaluated and determined to be a candidate for the clot-buster drug, TPA. The O'Neal family could not be more grateful to Sequoyah Memorial. "We didn't even know the hospital had this equipment," said Mr. O’Neal. "You can bet I'm going to be telling everyone I know where to go if they think they're having a stroke. Having that injection so quickly I know saved my life or kept me from being totally debilitated. Especially with ours being a rural hospital, I was really impressed with Sequoyah Memorial."

The goal of the telestroke program is to not only evaluate and treat patients with stroke symptoms, but also to educate and inform the community on the risk factors, symptoms, and possible outcomes of stroke. As the community's health leader, Sequoyah Memorial recognizes that it is our job to inform and educate the community on stroke symptoms, awareness, and what to do when you think you're having a stroke. Seconds count when having a stroke.