Memphis mobile stroke unit brings services to those in need

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Memphis, in the heart of the stroke belt, has a new weapon in decreasing the time it takes to deliver life-saving care.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center began using a 14-ton ambulance in 2016 as part of a three-year controlled study. In the past 12 months, the unit has transported 171 patients and delivered 35 doses of alteplase. The ambulance also delivers more the patients more quickly.

“The emergency room on average takes 40 to 50 minutes to do the things we do in 13 to 14 minutes," said Andrei Alexandrov, UTHSC neurology professor, chairman of the neurology department and medical director of the stroke unit team. “From the very first day it was very clear that this was winning technology."

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