Mobile Stroke Units: A Device in Search of an Indication

If you've been to any regional or national EMS conference in the last two years, you've seen these mobile stroke units. They are beautiful large ambulances with the latest and greatest in modern technology including mobile CT scanners. Often, the name of a hospital is blazoned on the side. There is usually a staff member present to tell you how great these will be for your community. But are they? Where's the science? What's the cost? These are important questions that should be asked and answered before these devices are deployed on a widespread basis. Although still somewhat controversial, therapies are now available to help reduce or mitigate the effects of an acute stroke. In many cases, these treatments can help the acute stroke patient to maintain a certain level of functioning. In some cases, such therapy can be lifesaving. But, it is not without significant risk. Today, there are several strategies available to treat an acute ischemic stroke. These include the administration of a thrombolytic (fibrinolytic) therapy such as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA). More recently, several centers are now providing interventional neurology treatments where patients with emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) strokes are catheterized and receive endovascular thrombolytic therapy or other therapies into the affected artery in hopes of relieving part of the obstruction and restoring perfusion to the affected region of the brain.1 The interventional window for stroke ...
Source: JEMS Patient Care - Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Tags: Patient Care Source Type: news