Indiana University Health has begun using a new specialized vehicle with equipment capable of diagnosing and treating a stroke on-scene.
The Indianapolis-based system said its mobile stroke treatment unit contains a CT scanner, so it can scan patients instantly and send the results to physicians at IU Health Methodist Hospital.
The vehicle, which is larger than a standard ambulance and manned by a specially trained staff, also has blood-pressure-management medications and tPA, a clot-busting drug it says is highly effective when administered at the onset of a stroke.
The mobile stroke treatment unit can begin treating patients within 20 minutes of arriving on the scene and 70 minutes earlier than standard treatment methods. By treating patients earlier, an average of 140 million brain cells per patient can be saved, IU Health said.
IU Health said it is the only health system in Indiana to have a mobile stroke treatment unit.•