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Region's First Mobile Stroke Unit Seeks To Speed Up Treatment

The specialized stroke unit is based in Springfield Township and can respond to an area that is about 15 minutes away.

Seconds count in stroke treatment so beginning Tuesday UC Health will have a new resource to get patients the help they need.

UC is introducing a Mobile Stroke Unit specially designed to evaluate and treat patients who may be having a stroke. It's staffed with a paramedic, an EMT, a critical care registered nurse and a CT technician. A Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Team physician will respond via telemedicine.

The average stroke patient doesn't get clot-busting medicine until 45-60 minutes after arriving at a hospital. This is because patients have to first get a CT scan and other assessments.

"Millions of brain cells die every minute that stroke treatment is delayed and research shows that mobile stroke units can provide treatment 20 to 30 minutes faster than in an emergency department," says Joseph Broderick, MD, director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute and Professor of Neurology and Rehabilitation medicine at the UC College of Medicine."

The Mobile Stroke Unit is dispatched along with the local EMS department. It's equipped with advanced diagnostic technology including a mobile CT scanner and the clot-busting medication tPA. (tissue plasminogen activator)

Medical Director of the Mobile Stroke Unit Dr. Christopher Richards says it's the first of its kind in the region. "We are able to bring the emergency department to the curbside in order to diagnose and treat stroke as quickly and safely as possible."

The unit is based at the Springfield Township Fire Department at 9150 Winton Road and will be available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily, including holidays. It will respond in an area of approximately 15 minutes from the fire station.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.