West Coast’s First Mobile Stroke Unit Now in South Bay
Torrance, CA— On Wednesday, September 18, LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn, Torrance Mayor Pat Furey, and other local officials and medical professionals held a press conference to mark the UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit’s expansion to several cities in the South Bay.
(From Left to Right) Torrance Mayor Pat Furey, Supervisor Janice Hahn, Dr. May Nour, Henry Gluck
“When it comes to a stroke, minutes matter,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “If we can get a person experiencing a stroke the treatment they need quickly—we not only increase their chance of survival, we increase the chance that they completely avoid the debilitating brain damage that a stroke could cause. I partnered with UCLA to bring the Mobile Stroke Unit here to the South Bay because I know this is technology that saves lives and I wanted to put it to work.”
The Mobile Stroke Unit is a specially-equipped ambulance, built with a mobile CT scanner, point-of-care lab tests, telehealth connection with a vascular neurologist, and therapies, all designed to deliver proven stroke treatments to patients faster than ever before. It is the West Coast’s first Mobile Stroke Unit and is operated by UCLA Health and sponsored by the Arline and Henry Gluck Foundation. In 2017, Supervisor Hahn secured County funding so that this project could be expanded to more cities across the county as part of a national study.
“Having the UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit in Torrance means our community is receiving individualized stroke treatments catered to their medical needs,” said Torrance Mayor Pat Furey. “It means they are being provided proven stroke treatments faster than ever before. It means lives will be saved.”
Thanks to County funding, the latest South Bay expansion will allow the UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit to operate 7 days a week for the first time since it launched. The unit will operate in the cities of Torrance, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Gardena, and Carson every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
“UCLA Neurology has top-flight physicians, researchers, nurses and technicians who are leaders in their fields, and the UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit is only one manifestation of that excellence,” said business executive and philanthropist Henry Gluck, who is also chair of the UCLA Health System Board. “The Arline and Henry Gluck Foundation is privileged to help bring truly exceptional talent and modern technology into the field to help improve care and save lives.”
Hahn, Furey, philanthropist Henry Gluck and UCLA Arline and Henry Gluck Stroke Rescue Program Medical Director Dr. May Nour, marked this latest expansion and gave attendees an inside look at the UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit. Medical professionals also discussed signs of stroke that residents should be in the lookout for such as face drooping, arm weakness, and speech difficulty.
According to UCLA Health, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, while someone dies of a stroke every four minutes. One in six Americans will experience a stroke in their lifetime. Three-quarters of strokes occur in people over the age of 65. The likelihood of having a stroke nearly doubles every ten years after age 65.
“The UCLA program is one of seven in the country participating in a national study assessing the clinical efficacy and health care utilization of early administration of clot busting medication in mobile stroke units versus later as is currently standard in the emergency room setting,” said Dr. May Nour, Medical Director of the UCLA Arline and Henry Gluck Stroke Rescue Program. “The results of this study with expected outcomes in June of 2021 will likely inform reimbursement for clinical activities occurring in the mobile stroke unit and help support their expansion of service across the United States.”
Launched in September 2017, with the support of the LA County Board of Supervisors and LA County EMS, the UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit has now expanded clinical operations to seven days per week on a rotating schedule between 3 geographic sites in the County of Los Angeles: the Western Site (Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, rendezvous with patients transported from the Malibu to the city of Santa Monica), the Southern Site (Hawaiian Gardens, Signal Hill, Long Beach, Lakewood, La Mirada, Cerritos, Artesia, Bellflower, Paramount, unincorporated Whittier) and the most recently launched, South Bay Site (Torrance, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Gardena, Carson, with future plans to include participating Beach City fire departments and Compton Fire.)