Northwestern hospital first in Illinois to gain approval for mobile stroke unit

Winfield, Ill.-based Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital earned support to operate a mobile stroke unit, making it the first hospital in Illinois to receive state approval.

The mobile stroke unit is an ambulance equipped with a CT scanner, clot-busting medication and telemedicine connection to neurologists at CDH. The unit's team includes a critical care nurse, CT technician, critical care paramedic and an emergency medical technician to communicate with the offsite neurologists.

"Treatment can be initiated within minutes of responding to a call. This is crucial because when it comes to stroke, time is a factor in treatment," Harish Shownkeen, MD, medical director of the stroke and neurointerventional surgery programs at CDH, said in a prepared statement.  

The mobile stroke unit aims to cut treatment delivery time for patients in the service areas of Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Warrenville, West Chicago, Wheaton and Winfield. Patients will access the unit by calling 911, and 911 dispatchers will alert the mobile stroke unit team. 

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