IU Health patient says hospital's mobile stroke unit saved his life

Indianapolis-based IU Health's mobile stroke unit helped lessen the effects of a stroke that an Indiana resident experienced in March, WXIN, a Fox affiliate, reports.

Within 10 minutes of Wayne Smith's sister calling 911 after he started showing signs of stroke, the health system's mobile stroke unit was parked in his driveway. The unit, which launched in March 2018, is equipped with medical technology capable of diagnosing and treating a stroke on-scene.

While inside the mobile unit, the IU health team performed a CT scan on Mr. Smith, which revealed a blood clot was close to his brain. The first responders then used telemedicine to connect with IU Health neurologist Jason Mackey, MD, who ordered medication to treat the stroke. By the time Mr. Smith arrived at the hospital, he did not even require surgery because the blood clot was already gone.

"Most of the studies are showing that this mobile unit cuts that time to treatment by 30 to 45 minutes, which is a lot of brain cells," Dr. Mackey told WXIN.

IU Health is currently part of a nationwide research study on the impact of mobile stroke units. There are 15 to 20 units total in the U.S, and Mr. Smith said every hospital needs one.

"The outcome of other people [who have a stroke] is not so good," Mr. Smith told WXIN. "That's why it's so important to get more of those trucks on the road. To have that one truck, that one truck come to my house, that day when I'm having a stroke, I thank God and these people here. It was just meant to be."

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