When treating a strokes patient minutes matter, and the sooner the treatment is delivered, the better. According to Carlson, for certain types of stroke, nearly 2 million neurons are damaged when the blood is blocked from the brain in every minute (198). The Mobile-stroke-unit.org, points that faster care with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator provides a significant chance to improve outcomes of a stroke patient. The Mobile stroke units help to optimize pre-hospital care by speed up the treatment. Recently, the Mobile stroke units were debuted in major U.S. cities and have already been acclaimed for saving critical minutes in the treatment of stroke patients. Experts believe that treating stroke patients in specialized ambulances on their way to the hospital is feasible and can support life-saving therapy for the patient (Mobile-stroke-unit.org 4).
The mobile stroke unit resembles a regular ambulance from the outside, but inside it is fully equipped with special diagnostic equipment, appropriate medications, and expert staffs required for pre-hospital assessment and treatment of stroke patient. The unique diagnostic equipment includes a portable computed tomography (CT) scanner that enables an expert staff member to assess the type of stroke the patient is having (Carlson 198). If they find that the stroke is triggered by a blood clot, then the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is quickly administered (Stroke et al. 1-3). The use of lab testing equipment and clot-busting drugs in the mobile stroke units significantly improves the prognosis for stroke patients who receive the treatment soon after the symptoms are detected (Carlson 214). Other more enhanced mobile stroke units, for example according to My.clevelandclinic.org, in Cleveland, the units have a specialized two-way video conferencing technology that enables the mobile staffs to communicate with the doctors in the hospital who helps to evaluate the patient.
Improving the outcome of a stroke patient is the primary goal that Medical centers strive to achieve while using the mobile stroke units. The units are deployed as an emergency response, with the CT scanner, a lab, and stroke telemedicine capability on board. The critical functionalities enable the brain-saving treatment to be quickly administered, for example, the clot-busting drugs, is administered to patients moments before they are taken to the hospital.
The mobile stroke units idea in U.S was borrowed from a Germany medical innovators who recently pioneered the implementation of the first mobile stroke units in the world. The researchers in Germany discovered that they could reduce the time between an emergency medical services call and the administration of clot-busting drugs from 1 hour and 13 minutes to 38 minutes (Carlson 216-219). According to experts, the discovery of saving the time required to administer clot-busting drugs helps to preserve the brain neurons that translate to better outcomes and minimize the associated longer-term costs (232).
According to Ovbiagele and Tanya 31-32, the main advantage of using a mobile stroke unit is the functionality that enables the clinicians to perform a CT scan quickly on patients in the field. The scan enables the clinicians to identify the patient that experience stroke caused by a blood clot and the patient that requires tissue plasminogen activator, in this case, an appropriate drug that works to dissolve blood clots is quickly administered in the field. This is of significant values to the stroke patient care because tissue plasminogen activator must be administered in less than three hours at the beginning of symptoms. The mobile stroke unit approach is certainly accelerating care for the stroke patient, and experts maintain that the earlier the tPA drugs are administered the better.
Carlson, Richard W. Telemedicine in the Icu, an Issue of Critical Care Clinics. London: Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015. Internet resource.
Mobile-stroke-unit.org,. 'Home - MSU - Mobile Stroke Unit'. N.p., 2015. Web. 13 Dec. 2015.
My.clevelandclinic.org,. 'Mobile Stroke Unit'. N.p., 2015. Web. 13 Dec. 2015.
Ovbiagele, Bruce, and Tanya N. Turan. Ischemic Stroke Therapeutics: a Comprehensive Guide. , 2016. Internet resource.
Stroke, Mobile et al. Mobile Stroke Units Improve Response Times , Outcomes for Patients. February (2015): 13. Print.
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