February 22, 2016 — Samsung NeuroLogica and Mercy Life Flight Network announce the debut of the mobile stroke unit (MSU) serving greater Northwestern Ohio. The fourth of its kind in the United States, the vehicle comes equipped with a CereTom mobile computed tomography (CT) scanner, is on-call 24/7, and is staffed with a critical care nurse, paramedic and CT technologist.
Within its first three weeks of operation, the unit received 29 calls and treated 10 patients, one of them with a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a drug commonly used to treat ischemic strokes.
The CereTom CT scanner provides scan uploads to specialists at the hospital in less than two minutes. For many stroke patients, time is critical for administering treatment that can prevent or minimize brain injury, and MSU teams can act on diagnostic tests in the field. Of the 10 patients the unit was dispatched to treat in the inaugural weeks of operation, nine received CT scans on the scene.
“The key to stroke care is determining what kind of stroke is occurring, whether it’s hemorrhagic or ischemic,” said Julie Goins-Whitmore, MBA, RN, EMT-P, Mercy Health MSU program manager. “Performing the scan out in the field quickens the diagnostic process, which is critical to starting the right treatment as soon as possible. It’s also a huge relief for patients and their families to have a much better idea of what’s happening before the MSU even leaves their driveways.”
The MSU was co-developed by Stryker, Frazer and Samsung NeuroLogica, funded with a $1 million grant from the Mercy Foundation. It was brought online in partnership with the Lucas County Commissioners and the City of Toledo to address new emergent stroke-care protocols. Lucas County sees a higher proportion of patients 45 years and younger suffering from strokes compared to the national average.
The CereTom is an eight-slice, portable CT scanner that delivers high-quality scans in a variety of patient locations with rapid scan times, an easy-to-use interface and immediate image viewing. It is optimized for use in a variety of settings including the MSU, intensive care unit (ICU), neonatal ICU (NICU), emergency department and in patient rooms. For stroke patients, the CereTom-based MSU has proven to reduce time-to-treatment for patients as well as hospital length-of-stay.
Stroke kills nearly 130,000 Americans each year, accounting for one of every 20 deaths, or one person every four minutes. Of the approximate 800,000 Americans that have a stroke annually, about 87 percent are ischemic.
For more information: www.neurologica.com