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KMCH’s Mobile Stroke Unit Brings Relief in Coimbatore

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A family member suffering a stroke can leave any one of us shocked. We don’t know what to do in such a medical emergency. Coimbatore-based KMCH has come up with a solution. As the blood supply to a part of one’s brain is interrupted, it deprives brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Besides, 17 lakhs brain cells keep dying every minute, reports Elets News Network (ENN).

In a bid to provide the muchneeded medical attention required for any stroke-hit patient, Coimbatore-based Kovai Medical Center and Hospitals (KMCH) has introduced a mobile stroke unit or a special ambulance dedicated to treatment of acute stroke and similar time-sensitive brain ailments. The KMCH Mobile Stroke Unit performs a key role for the patient within the first three hours of stroke usually termed as Golden Hours.

Coimbatore District Collector T.N. Hariharan recently flagged off KMCH Mobile Stroke unit for public service.

“The goal is to show that patients treated on the mobile stroke unit will have better outcomes because of treatment and, therefore, will have fewer long-term acute care needs and/or rehabilitation needs,” said Dr Nalla G Palaniswami, Chairman, Kovai Medical Center and Hospitals, who is spearheading this change in the management of stroke.

He added that the KMCH Mobile Stroke Unit is technically advanced and designed to suit the Indian roads. The Inspector General of Police West Zone Coimbatore A. Pari launched the Stroke Unit Hotline Number. Commissioner of Police of Coimbatore City K Periaiah launched the mobile app for stroke. Commissioner of Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation Dr K Vijayakarthikeyan launched the Stroke ICU.

Mobile Stroke Unit – How it Functions?

A mobile lab in the KMCH Mobile Stroke Unit is able to test blood samples on board. If it is found that the patient is experiencing an ischemic stroke – which account for about 80 per cent of all strokes – the on-board medical team can initiate intravenous (IV) clot bustering drugs immediately.

If the patient shows, no recovery by the time the patient reaches the emergency, he will require the next level of treatment, where the clot will be mechanically removed by  a suction catheter or stent retriever.

Following treatment, the patients are closely observed in a stroke ICU. Then KMCH is one of the few centres in the world where the patient with stroke can receive treatment within the golden hour and receive state of the art treatment of the blocked vessel.

Thus, it is most preferred hospital for all neurological complications. The KMCH Mobile Stroke Unit reduces the time for the onset of treatment for the stroke patient thus providing high chances of recovery.

What Happens During Stroke?

During stroke, the patient finds that he/she is unable to move a hand, leg or one half of the body which is either due to block in the blood vessels caused by clot or by ruptured blood vessels. Time is crucial in stroke. Treated within first critical hours chances of recovery are high.

The Challenge of Stroke

Stroke therapy has been a challenge not only in India but across the globe. It is so as the first-line treatment in instilling the clot buster drug should be initiated within the first three hours of the stroke. But before that a CT scan should be done to ascertain whether the stroke is caused by blocked blood clot or by ruptured blood vessels.

The KMCH Mobile Stroke Unit is a specialised ambulance staffed with a doctor, nurse, emergency personnel and CT technologist. The unit also contains lab testing equipment and a CT scanner.

The CT scans are wirelessly transmitted to KMCH neuroradiologists, who in combination with a neurologist, decides if the patient is experiencing a stroke, if so, then whether the stroke is caused by a blocked blood clot (ischaemic) or caused by a ruptured blood vessel (hemorrhagic) .

Meanwhile, a neurologist assesses the patient’s symptoms via telemedicine technology en route to the hospital.

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