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Mobile Stroke Unit Delivers Care Faster According to New Study

Northwestern Medicine
Emergency Medicine and Trauma March 30, 2017

Doors open showing inside of mobile stroke unitWhen experiencing a stroke, people who are brought to the hospital in an ambulance with a CT scanner and telemedicine capabilities are evaluated and treated nearly two times faster than people taken in a regular ambulance, according to a new study in the journal Neurology.

Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) is the first in Illinois to deploy a Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU). This specialized ambulance is equipped with a 16-slice CT scanner and live video streaming equipment that allows the ambulance team to communicate with a neurologist at the hospital.

“Treatment can be initiated within minutes of responding to a call. This is crucial because when it comes to stroke, time is a factor in treatment,” said Harish Shownkeen, MD, medical director of the Stroke and Neurointerventional Surgery Programs at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. “For every minute you delay in getting treated for a stroke, you lose 1.9 million neurons.”

Patients within the CDH EMS service area, which includes Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Roselle, West Chicago, Wheaton and Winfield, contact the MSU by calling 9-1-1 and reporting stroke-like symptoms.

FAST is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you spot the signs, call 9-1-1 right away. FAST is: Face drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1.

Learn more about the Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Mobile Stroke Unit.

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