JAN 28, 2016 5:01 AM PST

Taking Stroke Treatment On The Road

When a patient suffers a stroke, the key factor is time. Neurologists call it a Golden Window where “time is brain.” According the CDC, in the United State someone has a stroke about every four minutes. In one year approximately 795,000 patients will experience a stroke and 185, 000 of those are repeat attacks. 
 
A mobile treatment unit for strokes is up and running in Colorado

Three hours is pretty much the magic number. If treatment is received within that amount of time, it’s less likely the patient will have a long-term disability. Knowing the signs of an impending stroke is vital. Most people know that any sudden onset of facial numbness or weakness is the number one sign of a stroke, but according to a study conducted in 2005, 38% of people do not know that slurred speech, severe headache, confusion, trouble walking are other signs of a stroke.
 
Since it’s sometimes difficult to get a patient who might be having a stroke to an appropriate medical facility, a team at UCHealth in Colorado has taken their act on the road. A Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit (MSTU) is their newest weapon in the race to get stroke patients medical care as fast as possible.
 
The MSTU is essentially an ambulance on steroids. It carries a head CT scanner, lab testing equipment,  and what they call “telestroke” gear that connects the unit to a doctor in real time via video. In addition, the unit is staffed by paramedics as well as a critical care nurse. With the equipement and the uplink to specialists, if it’s determined that the patient is having a stroke, life saving medication to bust clots can be administered en route rather than waiting for the patient to arrive at the hospital.
?
The team that mans the unit, from the nurses, EMTs and hospital specialists to the IT guys monitoring the Telestroke system, has been in training mode for weeks. A series of simulations has begun, all very realistic to make sure that every part of the process runs smoothly.
 
Scheduling the unit is a key part of using it effectively. It will operate Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm, alternating being headquartered in Colorado Springs for half the week and Aurora for the other half.
 
While the technology is new and there isn’t much data, the first MSTU to go live is in Hamburg Germany and data from that unit shows that time from when the first emergency call was made to when tPA clot busting drugs were administered was cut from 73 minutes down to 38 minutes.
 
In a press release issued by UCHealth, William Jones, MD, medical director of the stroke service at the University of Colorado Hospital said, “The highly-trained stroke teams at hospitals throughout UCHealth are focused on providing life-saving treatments to stroke patients as quickly as possible. Until now, we’ve had to wait until a patient arrives at the hospital to treat them. Now, our teams are able to actually examine a patient and start treatment before they even arrive at the emergency department.” 
 
Check out the video below to see how this new technology is helping stroke patients have a better outcome.
 


 
 
 
 
 
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
OCT 11, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Newly-Found Molecules May Treat Neurodegeneration
OCT 11, 2020
Newly-Found Molecules May Treat Neurodegeneration
The NMDA receptor is known to play a crucial role in memory, and synaptic plasticity - where neurons change, altering ne ...
OCT 21, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Exercise Reverses Learning Impairments from Cannabinoid Issues
OCT 21, 2020
Exercise Reverses Learning Impairments from Cannabinoid Issues
While cannabinoids usually get attention for their recreational effects, these molecules play a role in several other pr ...
OCT 22, 2020
Neuroscience
Placebos Impact Brain Patterns for Emotional Processing
OCT 22, 2020
Placebos Impact Brain Patterns for Emotional Processing
Researchers from Michigan State University have found that placebos reduce markers of emotional distress- even when the ...
NOV 01, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
NOV 01, 2020
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative illness that damages motor neurons and leads to progressive m ...
NOV 15, 2020
Neuroscience
Hearing Test Can Predict Autism in Newborns
NOV 15, 2020
Hearing Test Can Predict Autism in Newborns
For some time now, researchers have been aware that children and adults with autism tend to have different sensory syste ...
DEC 01, 2020
Neuroscience
Shorter Reinforcement Delays Make Neurofeedback More Effective
DEC 01, 2020
Shorter Reinforcement Delays Make Neurofeedback More Effective
Researchers at Russia's Higher School of Economics (HSE) have found that reducing delay in neurofeedback (NFB) signi ...
Loading Comments...