611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

member support line
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...

Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Last-Ditch Life Support System Is Saving Lives of COVID PatientsFending Off Asthma Attacks During a PandemicCOVID-19 Patients Have Similar Survival When Hospitalized, Regardless of RaceMidwest Latest Region to be Hit Hard by COVID SpreadAHA News: Lung Injuries Should Be a Warning About Vaping's RisksDangerous Ink: Tattoos Might Lead to Body's OverheatingMental Health Issues Double the Odds of Dying With COVID-19, Study FindsStudy Sheds Light on Why COVID-19 Hits Elderly HardestDuring Stress of Pandemic, Know Suicide's Warning SignsEarly Results Show Moderna's COVID Vaccine Safe, Effective in Older PeoplePandemic Has More Americans Turning to BoozeStudy Confirms Minorities Face Higher Odds of COVID-19: StudyLockdown Could Worsen Hearing Woes for U.S. SeniorsGlobal Death Toll From COVID-19 Passes One MillionWarming World Could Alter West Nile Transmission in U.S.Most Newborns of COVID-19-Infected Moms Fare WellCOVID Antibodies Found in Less Than 10% of AmericansCOVID-19 Patients Rarely Survive Cardiac Arrest: StudyLow Vitamin D Levels Tied to Higher Odds for Severe COVIDKids Much Less Prone to Coronavirus Infection Than Adults: Study'Silent' COVID-19 Produces as Much Virus as in Patients With Symptoms: StudyImmune System Clues to Why COVID Is Easier on KidsU.S. Coronavirus Cases Top 7 MillionAccuracy of COVID-19 Antibody Tests Varies Widely, Study FindsAmerica's COVID Pandemic Is Now Skewing YoungerEven If Hips, Legs Slim Down, Belly Fat Remains a Health DangerAfter COVID-19 Exposure, When Can Young Athletes Resume Play?Kids Who Need Steroids Face Risk of Diabetes, Other Ills9 in 10 Americans Not Yet Immune to COVID, CDC Director SaysCommon Heart Defect Limits Exercise Ability: StudyBlood Test Could Spot Those at Highest Risk for Severe COVID-19Singing Without a Face Mask Can Spread COVID-19Could Zinc Help Fight COVID-19?U.S. COVID Death Toll Hits 200,000 as Cases Climb in 22 States4 Out of 5 People With COVID-19 Will Develop Symptoms: StudyMany Health Care Workers Who Have Coronavirus Don't Have Symptoms: StudyAHA News: Cluster of Risky Conditions That Can Lead To Heart Disease Is Rising in Hispanic AdultsMinorities Hit Hardest When COVID Strikes Nursing HomesAvoid the 'Twindemic:' Get Your Flu Shot NowCertain Cancer Treatments May Heighten Danger From COVID-19Homemade Masks Do a Great Job Blocking COVID-19Having Flu and COVID Doubles Death Risk in Hospitalized PatientsGuard Yourself Against the Health Dangers of Wildfire SmokeLife Expectancy Could Decline Worldwide Due to COVID-19Potential COVID-19 Drug Could Increase Heart Risk: StudyU.S. COVID Death Toll Nears 200,000, While Cases Start to Climb AgainCDC Reverses COVID Test Guideline After ControversyAs Schools Reopen, Many Students, Staff Live With High-Risk Family MemberCOVID-19 Poses Added Risk for People With Addiction Disorders: StudyGetting a Hip Replacement? Choice of Hospital Can Be Crucial
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Men's Health
Women's Health

'Mobile Stroke Units' Help Rush Treatment to Patients

HealthDay News
by By Elizabeth Heubeck
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Dec 5th 2019

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're in the throes of a stroke, being stuck in an ambulance in big-city traffic is the last place you want to be -- unless you're riding in a specially equipped ambulance called a mobile stroke unit (MSU).

A new study reports that suspected stroke patients in New York City who were taken to a nearby hospital via MSU began receiving critical, lifesaving treatment about 30 minutes faster than those transported by regular ambulances. Incidentally, the time difference had nothing to do with how fast the ambulances were going.

"Thirty minutes can make the difference between full recovery and permanent paralysis," said study author Dr. Matthew Fink, chairman of neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

That's because a stroke starves the brain of vital oxygen and affected brain cells begin to die within minutes. An ischemic stroke, the most common type, is caused by a clot that interrupts blood flow to the brain.

The study, published Dec. 4 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, examined the time it took for two sets of patients with suspected strokes who called 911 for an ambulance to begin treatment with the blood clot-busting medication alteplase. It should be administered within 3 to 4.5 hours of a patient's first stroke symptoms.

Of 85 patients in the study, 66 went to the hospital in MSUs, emergency vehicles equipped with portable CT scanners that accurately diagnose an ischemic stroke and with alteplase. MSUs are staffed by neurologists trained to diagnose and treat strokes.

Twenty-nine patients diagnosed with ischemic strokes started treatment on the way to the hospital -- about 30 minutes sooner than 19 patients who rode in traditional ambulances. Nine of those non-MSU patients were diagnosed with and treated for ischemic stroke at the hospital.

The authors said their study was the first to examine whether MSUs could treat patients faster in a setting as crowded as New York City, the nation's most densely populated city. The findings were somewhat surprising, one expert said.

"I think a lot of people assumed MSUs would be most valuable in a rural setting, where it's hard for people to get to the hospital," said Dr. Mitchell Elkind, past chairman of the American Stroke Association and president-elect of the American Heart Association.

Elkind was not part of the study but has diagnosed and treated stroke victims on MSUs.

In recent years, mobile stroke units have expanded their reach, primarily in urban areas. Today, they operate in about 10 cities nationwide -- from Trenton, N.J., to Los Angeles.

But high costs are obstacles to getting more in service. One MSU costs about $1 million and costs up to $1 million a year to operate. Plus, there's little data demonstrating superior long-term benefits for patients, experts said.

Study author Fink hopes that will soon change.

He and researchers in several states have a two-year study underway to compare long-term outcomes of stroke patients diagnosed and treated on MSUs to those diagnosed and treated at hospitals.

"I think you're going to see a number of initiatives around pre-hospital care," Fink said. "I think it's a field that's just beginning."

In the meantime, Fink offered this advice about important steps to take while waiting for an ambulance if you think you're having a stroke:

  • Lie down flat to improve blood circulation to the brain.
  • Stay calm.
  • Be prepared to tell emergency personnel what medications you take.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, which could aggravate a stroke caused when arterial blood bleeds into the brain.

More information

For tips to prevent stroke and heart disease, visit the American Heart Association.