IU Health rolls out new mobile stroke treatment unit

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Emergency workers have a new tool to help people who have a stroke quicker than before.

IU Health just received a new mobile stroke treatment unit, so workers can take it on the road.

It has a CT scanner inside, which sets it apart from a regular ambulance. They'll staff it with specially trained workers to assess the situation.

“Every minute that goes by is associated with a loss of 2 million neurons, so the faster we can identify a stroke patient's potential candidates and the faster we can get them the clot-busting medication, the better,” said Dr. Jason Mackey, who is a vascular neurologist.

Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in Marion County. The number of people who have strokes there is higher than the national average.

“The clot-busting medicine that Dr. Mackey mentioned, we only have four and a half hours to give that and quite frequently, our patients report after that,” said Judi Ayres, who is the director of stroke programs at IU Health.

Doctors say this will help them treat patients at least 30 minutes quicker and then they can send them to the ER.

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