A new vehicle that can detect strokes is hitting the road next week after years of planning.
Indiana University Health in launching a mobile stroke treatment vehicle that will travel throughout Indianapolis. It’s equipped with a CT scanner and laboratory capabilities.
Dr. Jason Mackey is the lead physician for the unit. He says the range in medical devices helps when distinguishing between two different kinds of strokes.
“The patients with a clot are eligible for treatment but you’ve got to have a CT scan first to ensure that they don’t have any bleeding,” Mackey says. “If they have bleeding of course you wouldn’t want to give them a clot buster.”
The vehicle will deploy when a stroke patient is identified and standard Emergency Medical Services is dispatched.
Mackey says timing is everything for stroke patients.
“Every minute that goes by is associated with a loss of 2 million neurons,” Mackey says. “So the sooner that we can identify these patients and potentially intervene, the greater the likelihood is that they will do well.”
The vehicle is part of a clinical study to measure improvements in stroke outcomes and evaluate the potential for future additional vehicles.
Mackey says there are currently between 10 and 15 stroke treatment vehicles in the U.S.
The vehicle will be deployed into the community for training starting next week and will start seeing patients in late April.