UF Health mobile stroke unit responds to first call

UF Health's new mobile stroke unit is housed in Gainesville.
UF Health's new mobile stroke unit is housed in Gainesville.
Courtesy of UF Health

Florida’s only mobile stroke treatment unit is now responding to calls in the Gainesville area.

According to a UF Health release, the new specialized vehicle is staffed with personnel from Alachua County Fire Rescue and UF Health. The staff includes a CT technician, paramedic, stroke-trained nurse and EMT driver. A stroke neurologist is also available by direct telemedicine.

In June, UF Health announced it would introduce the mobile stroke treatment unit with the first vehicle housed in Gainesville. The unit is one of 20 mobile stroke programs nationwide.

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The unit houses clot-busing drugs, medications given intravenously to lower high blood pressure, a diagnostic CT scanner and medications used to reverse the effects of bleeding inside the brain.

Studies show improved clinical outcomes for stroke patients transported via a mobile stroke unit versus a standard ambulance, including an increased likelihood of receiving tPA or TNK within an hour — called the “Golden Hour,” because that is when it’s most effective — and a higher probability of avoiding disability following treatment.

UF Health plans to add additional vehicles in The Villages and Jacksonville.

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