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Unique Dispatch Call for Mobile Stroke Unit Team

The UR Medicine Mobile Stroke Unit Team helps a 911 Call Center Employee.

What happens when the call for help comes from one of your own? Medical staff with the UR Medicine Center Mobile Stroke Unit in Rochester, NY found out that potentially scary answer the day they began operations.

“The first patient we actually treated… on the very first day the mobile stroke unit rolled out was at the 911 Center,” said Tarun Bhalla, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Mobile Stroke Unit Program and Chief of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Surgery at the UR Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center.

An American Medical Response (AMR) Paramedic noticed a colleague in the City of Rochester 911 Call Center having stroke-like systems and called for help. The Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU) arrived with the stroke team and immediately prepped the patient for assessment.

Utilizing the on-board CT scanner in the MSU, a brain scan showed the patient experiencing an ischemic stroke; these strokes occur when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain. “With the history of the physical and imaging, she qualified for tPA and received tPA very very quickly,” said Dr. Bhalla.

Time is of the essence in any stroke situation as two-million brain cells are dying every minute. tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) can break up clots in the brain to improve blood flow, and evidence shows that timely tPA administration improves patient outcomes.

The goal of any Mobile Stroke Unit Program is rapid patient assessment and treatment. To execute that mission, the MSU Stroke Team includes a critical care nurse, EMS partners or paramedics, and a CT technologist. They have the combined capability to draw blood labs and to use the portable CT scanner for brain imaging and stroke assessment. On-board telemedicine equipment allows the team to wirelessly transmit results back to UR Medicine stroke specialists at Strong Memorial Hospital and consult for intervention.

“It was the first day and it happened to be a 911 Call Employee. So, I think it was a very loud statement about the power of a unit like this because we drove right up to the 911 Center and were able to treat the patient at the 911 Center rather than a hospital,” Dr. Bhalla said.

“She made a remarkable recovery.”

Looking for More Information?

See how a Mobile Stroke Swat team armed with a CT scanner and telemedicine is helping fight stroke in Rochester, NY.

Take a Virtual Tour of a UR Medicine Mobile Stroke Unit.

Frazer has been building custom EMS vehicles suitable for licensing and use as Mobile Stroke Units, Mobile Clinics, and Ambulances since 1985.

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