Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit (MSTU) – Aiming at Beating Time in the Race of Stroke-Recovery

Stroke is the fifth major cause of death cases in United States, even when mortality rates have significantly decreased. It is all about timing here, even a minute’s delay in treatment can affect the chances of survival.  Time is most essential when you are treating patients with stroke and immediate preventive measures can help you avoid long-term effects of stroke and the risk of fatality. The sooner the patient is provided with the treatment, the less likely it will be for brain tissues to suffer any major damage.

This is why New York-Presbyterian has collaborated with Cornell Medicine, Fire Department of New York and Columbia university medical center to launch a mobile stroke treatment unit in New York City, which will be deployed in the city through 911.

Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit (MSTU) was initiated with a goal to reduce the delay between the onset of stroke and the time it takes to provide its treatment to the patient by diagnosing its symptoms and providing clot dissolving drugs and interventional therapy. The unit from outside looks like an ambulance however, inside, it is equipped with a team of experts, specialized medical equipment and diagnostic team. Main features of Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit (MSTU) include:

Team of experts

The MSTU is staffed with two paramedics at hand from Emergency Medical Council of New York. It has a team of Computerized Tomography (CT) technologist, neurologists and a general physician on board, to help reduce the time it takes to provide immediate care to stroke patient. They will quickly identify the symptoms and deliver care, which is a crucial aspect when it comes to stroke patients.

Equipped with modern technology

The MSTU is equipped with a CT scanner that scans patient’s brain at the spot and identifies the type of stroke they are having. The portable CT scanner is connected to a wireless transmission system, which sends patient’s report to New York – Presbyterian, a prestigious non-profit university hospital where neurologists evaluate the reports in real time and provide diagnosis to the team working in the unit. This is the most important aspect when it comes to treating strokes because most of the strokes are ischemic. However, 13% of strokes are hemorrhagic and they cannot be treated with same thrombolytic therapies. This is why immediate and accurate diagnosis is needed in such cases, because incorrect diagnosis can be fatal.

Effective in thrombolytic treatment and preventing organ damage

The MSTU will have medications and equipments to treat stroke including Tissue Plasminogen Activator, which immediately dissolves blood clots and regulates blood flow to the heart, preventing it from major damage. This makes this unit highly effective in thrombolytic treatment.

Timely analysis of success

To measure its success, all the gathered data from patients after follow-ups is analyzed by doctors and researchers. The research contains 90 days of patient’s outcome, the number of patients treated and the count of successful treatments and recoveries. The results are then compared with the overall cost of the project to assess the changes and improvements that can be brought in the system.