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

LaFrontera
member support line
1-520-279-5737
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



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

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net
Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
AHA News: Women May Be More Willing Than Men to Donate OrgansDNA Sensor Can Spot When COVID Is ContagiousTrials Show COVID Vaccines Well Worth It for Cancer PatientsCDC Endorses Booster Shots for Millions of AmericansChildhood Trauma Linked With Higher Odds for Adult Neurological IllsStudy Probes Relationship Between Migraines and SleepCancer in Hispanics: Good News and BadFDA Approves Pfizer Booster Shots for Seniors, High-Risk AmericansU.S. to Buy 500 Million More COVID Vaccine Doses for Global DonationAntibodies to Early Strains of COVID May Not Fight New Variants: StudyPregnant Women Who Get COVID Vaccine Pass Antibodies to NewbornsCDC Expert Panel to Weigh In on Vaccine BoostersWhich Kids Are at Highest Risk From COVID?4 Out of 10 Adults With No Known Heart Disease Have Fatty Hearts: StudyBooster Dose of J&J COVID Vaccine Increases ImmunityPost-Stroke Rehab: There's a Sweet Spot in the TimingCommon Form of Liver Cancer on the Rise in Rural AmericaCOVID Has Killed More Americans Than the Spanish Flu Did in 1918Telemedicine Gets High Marks for Follow-Ups After SurgeryPandemic Tied to Declining Birth Rates for U.S., Much of EuropeStudy Spots People at High Risk of Severe Breakthrough COVIDReview of Booster Shots for Moderna, J&J Vaccines Just Weeks Away: FauciDelta Variant Now Fueling 99% of U.S. COVID CasesLower Dose of Pfizer COVID Vaccine Works Well in Young Children, Company SaysFDA Panel OKs Pfizer Booster Shot for  People 65 or Older, But Not YoungerLong-Haul COVID in Kids Typically Ends Within 3 Months: StudyPfizer, Moderna Vaccines Still Offer Good Protection Against Severe COVID: StudyTrial Into Antioxidant for Parkinson's Disease Yields Disappointing ResultsIs Flu Ready for a Comeback? Get Your ShotCommon Eye Conditions Tied to Higher Risk for DementiaDrug Might Stop Heart Trouble Linked to Sickle Cell AnemiaChild Obesity Rose Sharply During PandemicFDA Advisory Panel to Meet on COVID Booster ShotsStatin Cholesterol Drugs May Help Fight Ulcerative ColitisAHA News: Physical Activity Is Helpful After a Stroke, But How Much Is Healthy?Special 'Strategies' Can Help People With Parkinson's Walk, But Many Patients UnawareEven When Undergoing Treatment, People With MS Gain From COVID VaccinesNIH Spending Nearly $470 Million on Long-Haul COVID StudyHospitalizing the Unvaccinated Has Cost U.S. Nearly $6 BillionIn 16 States, 35% or More Residents Now Obese: CDCPet Store Puppies Passing Drug-Resistant Bacteria to PeopleIs a Combo COVID/Flu Shot on the Way?1 in 500 Americans Has Died From COVID-19Having Even a Cousin or Grandparent With Colon Cancer Raises Your Risk: StudyBlood Cancer Patients Could Benefit From COVID Booster Shot: StudyWHO Says Africa Will Get 30% of COVID Vaccines It Needs by FebruaryCOVID Vaccines for Kids Under 12 Could Come This Fall: FauciEbola Vaccine Effective in African Clinical TrialBritain OK's COVID Vaccine for Kids 12 and Older; Hopes to Avoid LockdownsIsraeli Data on COVID Boosters to Be Published This Week in Major Journal
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Time Is Brain: Mobile Stroke Units Reduce Disability, Study Finds

HealthDay News
by By Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Sep 9th 2021

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Sept. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Every second counts after having a stroke, and rapid-response mobile stroke units can start clot-busting drugs quickly, potentially staving off lasting damage, new research finds.

Mobile stroke units are special ambulances equipped with imaging equipment and staffed by experts who can diagnose and treat strokes in the moments before arriving at the hospital. Typically, people who may have had a stroke must wait until they get to an emergency room for evaluation and treatment, which can cost valuable time.

In this study, people who were treated on a mobile stroke unit had lower levels of disability three months after their stroke, compared with folks who received treatment when they got to the ER.

"Bringing stroke treatment to the patient using a mobile stroke unit … results in more patients getting treated, faster treatment, and most importantly better outcomes, such as less paralysis, loss of speech or intellect, which results in less disability from the stroke compared to standard management where treatment is not started until after emergency department arrival," said study author Dr. James Grotta.

Grotta is director of stroke research at the Clinical Institute for Research and Innovation at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston and founder and director of the Houston Mobile Stroke Unit Consortium.

The study showed that for every 100 people who have a stroke and get treated in a mobile unit, 27 will have less disability and 11 more will completely recover, Grotta said.

More than a half-hour saved

The study also found a 36-minute shorter median time from stroke onset to start of treatment (72 minutes versus 108 minutes). And after three months, 55% of the mobile unit patients had returned to normal activities versus 44% of standard emergency-care patients.

Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke. They occur when a blood clot cuts off blood supply to the brain. A clot-busting drug, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), is extremely effective at preventing lasting disability such as paralysis or speech issues following a stroke, but only if it is given within 4.5 hours of stroke onset, and the sooner, the better.

The study began in 2014 with the launch of the UTHealth Mobile Stroke Unit in Houston and ran through 2020. It included more than 1,500 patients and was expanded to six cities. Overall, 1,047 people were deemed eligible to receive tPA. Of these, 617 received care on the mobile unit.

People treated on the mobile unit were more likely to receive this drug in the critical first hour after a stroke. Up to 70% of people who are treated with tPA in the first hour will recover without any lasting damage, Grotta said.

Time is brain, he added.

"Brain cells die within minutes when deprived of blood and the oxygen that blood carries," Grotta said. "Getting the artery open as fast as possible is the key to successful treatment."

The cost of running one of these units is a consideration. A mobile stroke unit costs about $1 million to buy and about $500,000 a year to operate, Grotta said. "It's expensive, but it saves lives and money to the health care system by reducing the need for long-term disability care," he said.

For this to be widely implemented throughout the country, appropriate reimbursement from insurers will be necessary. "This is something we are working on," Grotta said.

The study appears in the Sept. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The new findings dovetail with a recent study that showed staff on mobile stroke units can perform an emergency procedure on stroke patients that significantly improves their chances of survival and a good recovery. The procedure, endovascular thrombectomy, can remove large blood clots blocking blood flow to the brain.

Like a house on fire

Implementing mobile stroke units will be a game-changer for stroke care, said Dr. Kennedy Lees, a professor of cerebrovascular medicine at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He wrote an editorial accompanying the study.

Lees likens stroke treatment to dealing with a house on fire: "Get the fire service there immediately, and the flames may be put out with only minimal loss of your property, and repairs may be near invisible," he explained. "Wait 90 minutes, and damage may be irreparable."

These are "terrific results," agreed Dr. Deepak Bhatt, executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women's Hospital Heart and Vascular Center in Boston.

"Mobile stroke units bring the therapy to the patient who is potentially having a stroke," said Bhatt, who had no ties to the new study. "They may make the diagnosis much quicker than if the patient was taken to their local emergency room, and they are able to deliver potent clot-busting drug therapy immediately, thereby saving brain cells that might otherwise die while a patient is being transported to the hospital and the initial assessment begins there."

Knowing the warning signs of a stroke and acting quickly is essential, Bhatt said. Think F.A.S.T. -- the acronym to remember the signs of stroke: Face drooping, Arm weakness or Speech difficulty mean it's Time to call 911, he said.

More information

Learn more about the signs of stroke at the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: James Grotta, MD, director, stroke research, Clinical Institute for Research and Innovation, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Houston, and founder and director, Houston Mobile Stroke Unit Consortium; Kennedy Lees, MD, professor, cerebrovascular medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK; Deepak Bhatt, MD, executive director, interventional cardiovascular program, Brigham and Women's Hospital Heart and Vascular Center, Boston; New England Journal of Medicine, Sept. 9, 2021