Mobile stroke units improve outcomes and reduce disability in stroke patients

March 19, 2021 8:57 AM STI

Dallas [US], March 19 (ANI): Stroke patients treated through a mobile stroke unit (MSU) received clot medication faster and more often – and recovered much better than patients who received care regular emergency services by standard ambulance, according to late-breaking research.
The results were presented at the 2021 American Stroke Association International Conference.
“Our goal in this study was to treat the patients in the mobile stroke unit within one hour of the onset of their stroke symptoms, and we were happy that a third of the patients were actually treated within that time. of time, ”said James C. Grotta, MD, lead author of the study and director of stroke research at the Clinical Institute for Research and Innovation at Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center in Houston.
“Our study confirmed that patients who are treated early benefit from a complete reversal of stroke symptoms and prevention of disability. This suggests that within the first hour after a stroke, the brain does not is not yet irreversibly damaged and lends itself very well to effective treatment, “Grotta added.
Mobile stroke units are special ambulances equipped to quickly diagnose and treat stroke. When a stroke is caused by a blood clot blocking an artery in or leading to the brain (ischemic stroke), the team on board the mobile stroke unit can treat the patient immediately with medicine that dissolves the stroke. clot called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA).
This research, which is part of the ongoing national BEST-MSU study, looked at data from 1,047 patients with ischemic stroke and eligible for tPA treatment at seven US centers (Houston; Aurora, Colorado; New York City; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Memphis, Tennessee; and Burlingame, California) between 2014 and 2020. Researchers compared the outcomes of stroke patients brought to the emergency department by a mobile stroke unit to those who arrived via standard emergency medical services (617 patients via the mobile stroke unit, and 430 patients via a standard ambulance).
They found:

* Overall, 97% of patients transported by a mobile stroke unit received tPA, compared to 80% of those taken to the emergency room by a regular ambulance.
* One third of patients treated with a mobile stroke unit were treated within one hour of onset of stroke symptoms, compared to only 3% of patients transported by a standard ambulance.
* 53 percent of patients treated with a mobile stroke unit made a full recovery from stroke after three months, while 43 percent of patients treated with a standard ambulance made a full recovery.
“Our results mean that, on average, for every 100 patients treated in a mobile stroke unit rather than a standard ambulance, 27 will have less ultimate disability and 11 of 27 will be without disability,” said Grotta. “But for this to happen, patients, caregivers and bystanders must recognize the signs of stroke and call 9-1-1 immediately.”
“A more widespread deployment of mobile stroke units could have a major public health impact on reducing disability from stroke,” said Grotta. “Although mobile stroke units are expensive to equip and staff, they reduce processing time. We also expect that more treatment via mobile stroke units may reduce the need for downstream use in long-term care.
Further research is underway by Grotta and her team to assess year-round health care utilization following their patients’ strokes, which will provide a better idea of ​​the cost-effectiveness of implementing the. larger scale mobile stroke unit.
American Heart Association’s 2019 recommendations for establishing systems of stroke care suggest reimbursement is an issue that warrants further investigation before widespread use of mobile stroke units is likely . (ANI)