Mercy partners with Lucas County Commissioners, City of Toledo on new Life Flight Network Mobile Stroke Unit
Toledo, OH – With strokes, minutes matter and the quicker care is delivered, the better the potential short and long-term outcomes. As such, Mercy, in partnership with the Lucas County Commissioners and the City of Toledo, is pleased to announce a new, innovative approach to emergency stroke care: the Mercy Life Flight Network Mobile Stroke Unit.
The new mobile stroke unit (MSU), the first of its kind in Northwest Ohio and only the fourth nationwide, provides a means to better deliver appropriate stroke care when it is needed most. Designed as a specialized emergency room on wheels, the MSU will be equipped with a portable CT scanner that can immediately determine what type of stroke a patient is experiencing and how best to treat it.
“For 160 years, Mercy has been a leader in healthcare by identifying and adopting innovative services and technologies for residents of Lucas County and surrounding communities,” said Imran Andrabi, MD, president, CEO and chief network integration officer for Mercy. “The mobile stroke unit will be a critical tool in stroke care for this community. As a practicing family physician for nearly 25 years, I can tell you first hand there is a finite window of time when treatment is most effective and administering life-saving drugs more quickly can dramatically increase a patient’s quality of life long term.”
The Mercy Life Flight MSU includes lab testing equipment and clot-busting drugs that can greatly improve the prognosis for patients who receive them soon after the onset of symptoms. The unit will also offer tele-presence (two way video) technology onboard to allow doctors to remotely evaluate the patient and begin treatment promptly The total investment for the MSU is about $1 million and was raised through the Mercy Foundation who worked with key donors to ensure that this much needed unit was brought to and fully operational for Lucas County residents.
In the United States, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the number one cause of long term disability for adults. Additionally in Lucas County, there is a higher proportion of younger patients are suffering from strokes, those 45 years and younger.
The unit will be fully operational by mid-October and will be staffed 24/7 with a critical care nurse and a paramedic, as well as a CT technologist.
“Northwest Ohio will now have access to this specialized, and perhaps, lifesaving service for stroke treatment,” said Eugene Lin, MD, neuro-interventionalist at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center. “Much like healthcare, we are always looking for new ways to better serve this community. With Lucas County’s new protocols for emergent stroke care, the Mercy Life Flight MSU is a natural fit to effectively and safely treat our patients sooner.”