They are sudden, devastating, and can kill. But, with the right treatment and the right amount of time, doctors can save stroke victims.
This is a first of its kind ambulance in the United States sent only to medical emergencies where the patient needs immediate treatment for symptoms of a stroke.
Once on scene, Doctor James Grotta examines the patient and quickly gets him into the ambulance where a portable CT scanner will take a picture of his brain.
Within minutes, Doctor Grotta knows this patient will not need special drugs to prevent brain damage.
The mobile stroke unit has been responding to calls for about two months and is already credited with saving lives.
30-year-old Maureen Osaka was the first patient saved.
She's walking, speaking and living normally today, but knew something was wrong when classic stroke symptoms began one morning.
The mobile stroke unit rushed to her downtown home.
Within minutes, Osaka underwent a CT scan; confirming she was suffering a rare and fatal type of stroke.
Using web cameras, doctors back at the hospital were already making treatment plans.
Before the ambulance left the scene, Osaka was receiving life-saving clot busting medicine that likely saved her life.
Just days after the stroke, she was moving her left side, speaking clearly and walking on her own.
It is crucial to know the symptoms of a stroke.
Use the "fast" rule:
F- is for face. Pay attention to signs of numbness.
A - is for arm weakness or drifting.
S - is for speech. Watch for trouble talking.
T - is for time.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to act fast. The quicker you get help, the better your chances are for a full recovery.
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