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Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit (MSTU)

Three NewYork-Presbyterian emergency vehicles sit parked in the Brooklyn Navy Yards with the Statue of Liberty behind on the horizon.

If you or a loved one suffers a stroke, time is of the essence. The sooner you receive lifesaving care, the less likely you are to experience death of brain tissue and the better chance you'll have of achieving a successful outcome.

NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital — in partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, and the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) — has launched the first Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit (MSTU) in Brooklyn. The unit is deployed via the FDNY through New York City's 911 system.

The MSTU emergency vehicle is designed to provide immediate, specialized care to people who may be having a stroke — bringing NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist's advanced technologies, expert staff, and lifesaving stroke treatment to more people in need. The unit features: 

Experts on Board: Each MSTU is staffed by a highly specialized team of two paramedics from the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York City, a computed tomography (CT) technologist and a registered nurse.  A neurologist is consulted remotely via telemedicine technology. This advancement allows the physician to speak with and view the patient and provide a virtual assessment and recommendations for care.

Advanced Technologies at the Ready: The MSTU is complete with a portable CT scanner that can image a patient’s brain on the spot to determine the type of stroke the person may be having. The CT scan is then wirelessly transmitted to a NewYork-Presbyterian neuroradiologist, who evaluates the scan in real-time to make an accurate diagnosis.

Effective Treatments, Fast and Available: The unit also contains equipment and medications to treat strokes, including tPA — a medication that works by dissolving a blood clot and improving the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the affected part of the brain. We are planning to develop a number of other novel therapies for the future treatment of stroke in the field.

Ready to Serve: The MSTU will be deployed throughout Brooklyn.

Measuring Success: To determine the MSTU’s success, we will gather and analyze valuable data by following up with each patient after admission to the hospital. Our research will include patient outcomes at 90 days; the percentage of patients treated on the MSTU who made a full recovery compared with those delivered by standard EMS transport; and the overall cost of care. We also will work with similar units throughout the United States to combine data for a larger analysis.