Excellance Emergency Mobile Stroke Unit
This unique ambulance is equippedDSC_0121 with an onboard mobile CT scanner, lab, and telemedicine unit, allowing technicians working in the ambulance to interact with the doctor, and the doctor to interact with the patient, in real-time. The doctor is able to see the results of the CT scanner images and quickly make a diagnosis. The rapid diagnosis of the type of stroke determines if the clot-busting medicine tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) should be administered. TPA is used to treat cases of ischemic stroke, which account for 80% of all strokes. When administered quickly, TPA is proven to diminish the effects of stroke, and in many cases, can minimize or completely eliminate any permanent stroke effects. The Mobile Stroke Unit is also equipped for the treatment of hemorrhagic strokes.
In the absence of the Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit, a traditional ambulance responds to a stroke patient. These technicians can only attempt to stabilize the patient during transport to the hospital, where the patient can finally be diagnosed with a CT scanner. Valuable time is lost, time which could have been used to administer TPA medication and increase the patient’s chance for a full recovery. (The generally accepted timeframe for administering TPA is within 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms.)
This new type of emergency vehicle currently operates in Cleveland, Ohio and the results have been astonishing. Many patients who would otherwise have suffered permanent physical or mental damage have emerged from the treatment with high praise for the city and medical staff who treated them using the Mobile Stroke Unit.