As an Atlanta Social Security disability benefits attorney, I frequently represent claimants who are trying to recover disability benefits after suffering a stroke. A new study finds that a well-equipped mobile unit that delivers lifesaving care to a person who has suffered a stroke in the first few hours after the onset of a stroke, could significantly improve outcomes for victims.
The first few hours after the earliest signs of a stroke are critical. In the first 3.5 hours to 4 hours after a person begins to show the first signs of a stroke like slurred speech, droopiness of the facial muscles, and confusion, a medication called alteplase should be administered to the patient. This is a drug that busts the blood clots that disrupt the flow of oxygen to the brain. When the brain is starved of oxygen beyond a certain period, there can be possibly irreversible brain damage. Brain cells begin to die when they are deprived of oxygen, and the medication can help eradicate the clot that is blocking oxygen supply to the brain cells.
The study focused on 85 patients who had suffered a stroke and had to be taken to the hospital. Out of these patients, 66 were taken to the hospital in a mobile stroke unit, which is typically equipped with CT scanners that can help diagnose an ischemic stroke. These types of strokes involve blood clots. These mobile stroke units also carry neurologists who can identify the type of stroke and begin administering the medication immediately. The researchers found that when a mobile stroke unit was used to transport the patient to the hospital, the medication was delivered at least 30 minutes earlier than if the person was transported via regular ambulance to the hospital. In Atlanta, the Grady EMS operates a mobile stroke unit that is capable of delivering quicker care to stroke patients.