Emergency Care: A Close to Home Story – Portsmouth Regional Hospital


– My name is Jim Robbins,
and I live in Dover Point. The day leading up to my
stroke was extremely short. I had just gotten out of bed, hadn’t done anything yet. I was still standing beside the bed, bent down to pick up
something off the floor, and I crashed to the floor. And fortunately, my wife
had not gone to work yet. And because she knew what
the signs of a stroke were, she asked me could I talk and saw that my left side was completely drooped. She’s saying, “Jim,
you’re having a stroke, “you’re having a stroke!” I’m thinking inside, internally,
I’m not having a stroke. I’m 52, you don’t get a stroke. – My name is David Heller, and I’m a board-certified
emergency physician. I suspect if Jim had gone
to another seacoast hospital he would have been seen
by an emergency physician, perhaps he would have been
seen by a teleneurologist. He probably would have gotten TPA, which is a very strong
blood-clot-buster drug. The type of stroke that he had probably would not have responded
well to that drug. And without having
interventional radiology to actually go into his
brain and take out that clot, I think it’s more likely than not that he would have some kind of permanent deficit from his stroke. – Portsmouth Hospital
facility with a stroke alert. 53, 5, 3, year old male found by his wife this morning slumped off the bed. – My wife made the decision
to really urge the EMTs, and they did, to take me
to Portsmouth Hospital as opposed to other
options that we had because Portsmouth has a full
stroke protocol in place. – If somebody has a
life-threatening emergency, they should call 911,
and when EMS arrives, EMS will take them to the
closest appropriate facility. Part of making that
choice should be looking at the capability of an
emergency department. Our emergency department is the only level two trauma center in the seacoast. Our emergency department
is a certified chest pain center with a cath
lab available 24/7. Our emergency department is
a certified stroke center with interventional
radiology available 24/7. There’s no other hospital in the seacoast or in the eastern half of New Hampshire, for that matter, that
has those capabilities along with comprehensive backup such as cardiac surgery, neuro surgery, vascular surgery, and other specialties. Our freestanding ED at Seabrook or our freestanding ED due to open soon in Dover have the same comprehensive services available as Portsmouth does. The difference is is
that if a person needs to be admitted to a
hospital as an inpatient and they’re at a freestanding ED, they do need to be transferred
either to Portsmouth Hospital or to another
hospital of their choosing. And we have a very
seamless way of getting a patient from our freestanding
ED to an inpatient here at Portsmouth, if that’s necessary. When a patient arrives at
our emergency department or one of our freestanding
emergency departments, they are seen very
quickly by a triage nurse, and we try to have a
provider see that patient within 10 minutes of their arrival. We have the shortest greet times of any hospital in the seacoast. We have the shortest duration
time that you spend in our emergency department
of any ED in the seacoast. – The ED department is sort
of the tip of the spear, the entry point, for the
entire stroke protocol, and it can all be done here at Portsmouth. It was important for me to have my wife, who understood what this hospital offered, and so, I would say,
whether you’re a spouse or whether you’re a caretaker, a potential caretaker to yourself, it’s important to know what
the different hospitals offer and what the ED
departments offer in terms of stroke care so that when the time comes, you’re not gonna have to fumble around making a decision because you may not be able to make that decision, someone may be having to make
it for you, as was my case. – One of the advantages
of going to an emergency department such as ours
that has very comprehensive backup of specialists
is that if you need to followup with a specialist
or you need to be seen sooner than that by a specialist, that you can see that specialist without having to go to Boston. We all trained in the big city and we’re all board certified here, so why go through the
hassle of having to go to Boston when you can get the same level of care right here in the seacoast. – Since the stroke four
months ago, I’m doing great. The second they pulled the clot out I was really, essentially, back to normal. I didn’t have any damage in my brain. I didn’t have any physical
limitations or deficits. The right people were in
place at the right time, and then, the right processes were in place so that I got what I needed, exactly what I needed
to have those things. So, the people and the
processes all came together to essentially rescue my life. I’m aware of that, I’m
profoundly aware of that, and grateful. (slow orchestra music)

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