Improving Patient Outcomes, Balancing Cost of Mobile Stroke Units with Louise McCullough, MD, PhD


Check out this interview with Louise McCullough, MD, PhD, Program Chair of ISC 21, where she offers perspective on mobile stroke units and what barriers prevent further implementation of the specialized ambulatory units.

Are mobile stroke units the future of care or an innovation too advanced for its time? This was a subject of discussion during the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference (ISC) 21.

While data supporting the use of these specialized ambulatory units is beginning to mount, this year’s conference painted a picture portraying the sharp contrast between the improvements in outcomes achieved and the struggling financial status of many mobile stroke units in the United States.

Highlighted during a late-breaking session, the BEST-MSU study demonstrated the specialization of ambulatory services resulted in higher rates of tPA treatment and improved disability rates compared to standard emergency medical services in sites throughout the US. At the same time, an analysis funded by the Prehospital Stroke Treatment Organization (PRESTO) brought forth data suggesting all mobile stroke units in the country were sustained, at least partially, through grants, gifts, or donations.

Learn more about mobile stroke unit data presented at ISC 2021.

Just a few months prior to the start of ISC 21, data from a nonrandomized, intervention trial published in JAMA Network outlined benefits of mobile stroke units seen in Berlin, Germany—suggesting patients treated with these units experienced higher rates of survival without long-term disability than their counterparts receiving standard care.

For more on the perception of mobile stroke units among clinicians, Practical Cardiology reached out to Louise McCullough, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas and Chief Of Neurology at Memorial Hermann Hospital—Texas Medical Center, for her perspective on the topic. McCullough, who is also the ISC Program Chair, provides a unique perspective on mobile stroke units as a professor, practicing neurologist, and colleague of James Grotta, MD, who led the BEST-MSU study.

Check out the video below for more:

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