WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Mobile stroke unit (MSU) care is associated with quicker time to thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke compared with conventional ambulance care in a densely populated urban area, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Benjamin R. Kummer, M.D., from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues compared patients with suspected acute ischemic stroke transported by an MSU operating in Manhattan, New York, with patients transported via conventional ambulance during the same hours of MSU operation. A total of 66 patients treated or transported by MSU and 19 transported by conventional ambulance were identified.

The researchers found that compared with patients receiving conventional care, those receiving MSU care had significantly shorter dispatch-to-thrombolysis time (mean, 61.2 versus 91.6 minutes). Patients receiving MSU care were significantly more likely to be picked up closer to a higher mean number of designated stroke centers in a 2.0-mile radius compared with patients receiving conventional care (4.8 versus 2.7). In a multivariable analysis, compared with conventional care, MSU care correlated with a mean decrease of 29.7 minutes in dispatch-to-thrombolysis time.

“Our findings, taken together with the positive effect of population density on cost-effectiveness of MSU programs and the well-established beneficial effect of shorter onset to thrombolysis time on postthrombolysis outcomes may support the need for MSU systems of care that can cost-effectively reduce treatment times in densely-populated cities,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Relias Learning.

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