Stony Brook Medicine Launches Long Island’s First Mobile Stroke Units


The Stony Brook Cerebrovascular and Comprehensive Stroke Center (CVCSC) and the Stony Brook Renaissance School of Medicine Department of Emergency Services offered a sneak preview of Long Island’s first Mobile Stroke Unit program last month before its official launch on April 8. Stony Brook stroke experts and public officials joined together for a full demonstration of the units’ capabilities to provide residents with immediate, onsite advanced care, including a telehealth component that allows EMTs to connect with doctors in real-time.

“With the launch of these new Mobile Stroke Units, Stony Brook Medicine is leading efforts to bring expert stroke care to patients across Long Island,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. “They will serve as vital extensions of stroke care, reaching patients earlier and saving more lives during the critical ‘golden hour’ of stroke treatment. Patients will be transported to the nearest stroke center for treatment, either a primary stroke center or a higher level of care, a Comprehensive Stroke Center.”

“When a blood vessel supplying the brain is blocked, it is estimated that nearly two million brain cells are lost for each minute that passes, making stroke the most time sensitive diagnosis we have in medicine,” said David Fiorella, MD, PhD, Director of the Stony Brook Cerebrovascular Center and Professor of Neurological Surgery and Radiology at the Renaissance School of Medicine. “The imaging capability of the Mobile Stroke Unit will allow us to identify patients who are having a stroke from reduced blood flow to the brain at the scene. The faster we can restore blood flow to the brain the more likely that the patient will have a full recovery.

Each state-of-the-art MSU is essentially a “mobile stroke emergency room,” which includes an in-ambulance care team consisting of a critical care nurse, paramedic, EMT and CT technologist, also known as a CT scan technologist. The units have a telemedicine system that enables Stony Brook emergency physicians and neurologists to see and examine the patient via audio/visual conferencing.

“When an emergency strikes, the key to survival is decreasing response time because we know that seconds and minutes can mean the difference between life or death,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone.  “Stony Brook Medicine’s cutting-edge Mobile Stroke Units will provide our communities with specialized, time-sensitive care that will no doubt save lives. I look forward to continuing working with all of our partners to ensure the highest level of care for our residents across the County.”

“While telehealth allows us to expand our clinical expertise to patients in need in a variety of settings across Suffolk County, tele-stroke specifically showcases our technological, clinical and emergency services in crucial times of need. We hope to continue to promote the use of innovative technologies that can save lives for patients,” said Dr. Kimberly Noel, Director of Telehealth at Stony Brook Medicine.

“By diagnosing right at the scene via Telehealth, our neurologists can then give the approval to the first responders onboard to administer the appropriate time-sensitive stroke treatments while the person is en route to the nearest hospital with the appropriate level of care,” said Dr. Michael Guido, Director of Stony Brook Neurology Stroke Program and Co-Director, Stony Brook Cerebrovascular and Comprehensive Stroke Center.

“We are very fortunate to have a collaborative program with approximately 40 EMS agencies and the Suffolk County Department of Health and Division of EMS,” said Eric Niegelberg, Associate Director of Operations for Emergency Services and Internal Medicine at Stony Brook Medicine. “Thus far we have overwhelming support from these EMS agencies and we will continue to work with them as the program begins operation. A continuous and ongoing dialogue with our EMS partners is critical for the success of this program.”