This month, NewYork-Presbyterian hospital, with the help of Weill Cornell Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, and the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), has launched a Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit (MSTU). This will be the first of its kind on the East Coast, and will be deployed and utilized through the New York’s 9-1-1 system.
There has long been a need for something of this sort, a way to minimize damage done by strokes. According to Matthew Fink, M.D, the Chairman of the Department of Neurology at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Weill Cornell’s Medical Center, nearly 800,000 people in the US will have a stroke. MSTU’s are vital in stroke cases due to their speedy treatment services.
The MSTU’s in NYC will be run by two paramedics, a CT technologist, and a neurologist. The vehicle will be equipped with a CT scanner, that wirelessly transmits the images to a neuroradiologist. The MSTU’s will be efficient in treatment, and effective at minimizing the time between a stroke starting and treatment. The time saved be a MSTU — rather than being transported to the emergency room after the stroke has hit — can be the difference between a healthy recovery, paralysis, or death.
When I found out about the launch of this initiative, I was overjoyed. There is a real need for a function of this kind in the city, and one that I sympathize with. Although I have not suffered any serious strokes before and after my surgeries, it was very lucky that that was the case. If I had been misdiagnosed, as I was the first few doctors visits, I would most certainly have suffered a stroke.
This unit will be crucial for people like me who have Moyamoya, but also for anyone who has a stroke. What surprised me and pleased me the most about this discovery was that there was this much attention drawn to the stroke community and stroke awareness. I believe that this is an important milestone for the community and one that could have a positive impact.
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