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Your Healthy Family: UCHealth's Mobile Stroke Unit - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: UCHealth's Mobile Stroke Unit

May is Stroke Awareness Month and there’s a very special vehicle with specially trained staff on board.  It’s called the Mobile Stroke Unit and In Colorado Springs, it’s unique to UCHealth Memorial. May is Stroke Awareness Month and there’s a very special vehicle with specially trained staff on board. It’s called the Mobile Stroke Unit and In Colorado Springs, it’s unique to UCHealth Memorial.
COLORADO SPRINGS -

May is Stroke Awareness Month and there’s a very special vehicle with specially trained staff on board.  It’s called the Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit and in Colorado Springs, it’s unique to UCHealth Memorial.

Even for this specialized ambulance to be effective treating stroke, it’s important for everyone to know the warning signs of a stroke that have to be acted on immediately.

B - Balance

E - Eyesight

F - Facial Drooping

A - Arm Weakness

S - Slurred Speech

T - Time to Call 9-1-1

When it’s time to call 9-1-1, it may be the Mobile Stroke Unit that shows up.  Right now the unit splits time between Denver and Colorado Springs. The reason it can make such a big difference in stroke treatment is because it’s so much more than a standard ambulance.

Brandi Schimpf is the Nurse Manager of the Mobile Stroke Program with UCHealth.  "The uniqueness of the mobile stroke ambulance, is being able to treat a patient that has signs and symptoms of stroke right outside their door.”

Dr. Williams Jones is the Medical Director for UCHealth’s Mobile Stroke Program.  “It's kind of like bringing the emergency department to the patient, and in stroke care it's very important to treat people as quickly as possible.”

Dr. Jones adds there are two things that are the key to the Mobile Stroke Unit’s effectiveness.

“There is a lot of special equipment on the mobile stroke unit.  The biggest thing that most people notice is the CT scan, and while it’s portable still weighs about 800 pounds.”

Brandi Schimpf says because of the on board medication and equipment like the CT scan, “Having the ability to take images of the brain and giving an extensive neuro assessment, as well as having the medications (TPA) on board isn’t common on any ambulance.”  She adds, "We have a highly qualified and educated team that includes a nurse, a paramedic and E.M.T., and a CTC technologist.  We also have virtually, a stroke neurologist video conferencing in on the unit, and in the background we have so many other players that make it successful."

Coming in future Your Healthy Family stories, we'll tell you about a study happening here in Colorado and its importance to the future of the Mobile Stroke Unit.  We'll also profile some of the specialized staff from UCHealth Memorial who take rotations on the unit when it’s in Colorado Springs.

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