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When Minutes Matter

Interior of mobile stroke unit, a special ambulance equipped with a portable CT scanner
UCLA Health launches a mobile stroke unit — a special ambulance equipped with a portable CT scanner and a clot-busting drug — to enable critical assessment and treatment en route to a hospital.

The phrase “time is of the essence” is never more apt than when it applies to getting treatment after a stroke — the leading cause of serious disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. UCLA research has shown that in an ischemic stroke — caused by a blockage of blood flow to the brain — two million nerve cells are lost for every minute of interrupted blood flow. Rapid stroke care is crucial to ensure that the right treatment is administered. But first a CT scan of the brain is necessary to determine whether the patient is suffering an ischemic stroke, which calls for a clot-busting drug or clot-retrieval device.

Early Intervention

Enter Arline and Henry Gluck, who have made a significant contribution to UCLA Health to implement a groundbreaking mobile stroke program. Mobile stroke units — special ambulances equipped with a portable CT scanner and a clot-busting drug — enable brain imaging at the first point of contact. Treatments to restore blood flow to the brain can be started before the patient reaches the hospital, lowering the risk of irreversible brain injury.

The UCLA Arline and Henry Gluck Stroke Rescue Program will enable the UCLA Stroke Center to conduct clinical studies and research into new treatments and approaches to acute stroke.

Driving Advances in Care

“The Gluck Stroke Rescue Program will play an important role in enabling us to provide state-of-the-art care for stroke victims across Los Angeles and eventually will expand this care to other Western states,” says Dr. John Mazziotta, vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health.

Look around Los Angeles for the state-of-the-art vehicles that say “Gluck Stroke Rescue.” They’re leading the way to the very best care.

Published June 2016

More Stories: Research, David Geffen School of Medicine / Health Sciences, Health & behavior

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