The initiation of intravenous (IV) tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to attempt to break up the blood clot increases recovery from stroke symptoms by up to 30%. But delay in presentation is the most common reason patients are ineligible for this life-saving treatment. It must be administered within a three-hour window and, currently, only 15% of stroke patients arrive in hospital early enough for this treatment.
If medics can go directly to the stroke patients, using connected care technology to facilitate the diagnosis scans and administer medication on the scene, there’s the potential for more stroke patients to have better outcomes.
Cleveland Clinic’s Mobile Stroke Unit aims to shorten the time between the onset of stroke-like symptoms and the delivery of these essential drugs. The stroke unit resembles a regular ambulance on the outside, but inside it contains highly specialized staff, equipment, and medication dedicated to diagnosing and treating strokes.