Should mobile stroke units be deployed nationwide? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Specialized EMS units that only treat stroke improved stroke outcomes for people who were treated by them, a recent study found. Michele Johansen, a stroke expert at Johns Hopkins, says a few things about the study should be noted.
Johansen: If you’re going to really raise up these mobile stroke units it’s interesting that the mobile stroke units and the EMS trucks went together. Because most stroke units are going to be really really good at taking care of stroke and they probably have like critical care nurses who can manage other things, but you know EMS is good at kind of managing everything. And maybe they’re not expert at strokes, but they’re good enough at managing the emergency situation to get a stroke to the experts in the hospital. If you have a mobile stroke unit that’s used to just taking care of stroke, and they get there and it’s not a stroke, how are we going to manage that? :30
Johansen says specialized stroke units also need CT and techs to do the studies to confirm or rule out a stroke, taking resources away from more centralized places like hospitals where more patients could be evaluated. At Johns Hopkin, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.