CT (computed tomography) -equipped, teleradiology-backed mobile stroke units bolster outcomes over traditional ambulances

  • April 08, 2021

Analyzing outcomes among 1,543 patients treated for ischemic stroke, experts found that administering thrombolysis in such vehicles, versus waiting until arriving at the hospital, lowered an individual’s risk of disability three (3) months later.  Future investigations could explore the cost effectiveness of mobile stroke units, but German scientists believe there’s a strong case for this intervention.  “In this prospective, nonrandomized, controlled intervention study of patients with acute ischemic stroke in Berlin, Germany, the dispatch of mobile stroke units, compared with conventional ambulances alone, was significantly associated with lower global disability at three months,” Martin Ebinger, MD, with the Center for Stroke Research Berlin, and colleagues wrote 02 FEB 2021.

Researchers conducted the analysis between February 2017 and October 2019.  As part of the effort, if an emergency call prompted suspicion of a stroke, both a conventional ambulance and MSU were deployed.  Ebinger and colleagues compared functional outcomes for patients — with a final diagnosis of acute cerebral ischemia, who were eligible for thrombolysis or thrombectomy — treated via stroke unit (749) versus a typical ambulance alone (794).

Bottom line:  Patients treated via MSU had lower median disability scores at month three, based on the modified Rankin Scale, versus patients not treated by the unit.  Plus, the rate of thrombolysis was higher, and the median dispatch-to-thrombolysis time was lower among patients with an MSU dispatch compared to the other group.

REFERENCE:  Innovative Healthcare, Radiology Business, Quality; 03 FEB 2021; Marty Stempniak

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