The Stony Brook University Cerebrovascular and Stroke Center (CVCSC) and the Stony Brook Renaissance School of Medicine Department of Emergency Services will launch Long Island’s first Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU) program to provide residents with immediate, onsite advanced stroke care. The service is expected to deploy its first unit on March 1, with a second to be deployed in April. The MSUs will be available seven days a week, from 8AM to 8PM, which is the window of time when most stroke calls are received. The specially-equipped ambulances will be strategically based at exits 57 and 68 on the LIE and will take calls within 10 miles of their base, which should ensure response times of 20 minutes or less.
Each state-of-the-art MSU is essentially a “mobile stroke emergency room,” which includes an in-ambulance care team consisting of a critical care nurse, paramedic, EMT and CT technologist, also known as a CAT scan technologist. The units have a telemedicine system that enables Stony Brook emergency physicians and neurologists to see and examine the patient via audio/visual conferencing. The MSUs will provide Suffolk County residents with the highest level of care for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
The ambulance is also equipped with a CT scanner that can perform both a standard head CT scan as well as a CT scan angiogram. These scans will allow doctors to immediately check for bleeding in the brain and determine whether the patient has a blocked or leaking blood vessel. This information will allow the team to initiate treatment with IV tPA (when indicated) and then transport the patient to the nearest hospital that can provide them with the appropriate level of care. These capabilities will dramatically accelerate the delivery of time-sensitive stroke therapies and thereby improve outcomes for patients.