December 17, 2020

Supervisor Hahn Proposes Mobile Stroke Unit Program for LA County

Los Angeles, CA — Today, Supervisors Janice Hahn and Mark Ridley-Thomas proposed the development of a Mobile Stroke Unit program to help better treat stroke patients in LA County.

According to the American Heart and Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and one of the leading causes of long-term disability.  One of the latest innovations is the mobile stroke unit– a specialized ambulance that has staff, equipment, and medications specifically to diagnose and treat stroke victims. Research has shown that the outcomes of stroke patients are extremely time-dependent and that medicine administered within the “golden hour” after a stroke gives patients a greater chance of surviving and avoiding long-term brain damage.

In offering this motion, Supervisor Janice Hahn looked to the example set by her father, Former Supervisor Kenneth Hahn who is credited with establishing the first paramedic program.

“In the 1970s, when mounting evidence showed you could help save heart attack patients by treating them sooner, my father championed the innovative idea of the paramedic system,” said Supervisor Hahn. “Now we know that stroke treatment can be just as time-sensitive. Mobile Stroke Units are building on my father’s work and LA County residents need and deserve this latest medical advancement in our communities.”

“Death and the long-term effects of a stroke can be prevented by receiving quick medical attention,” said County Supervisor and Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas.  “It is imperative that we assess the feasibility of an innovative mobile stroke unit program to increase the likelihood of survival for stroke victims in L.A. County.”

Approximately twenty mobile stroke units are already operating in the United States with positive results, but no such unit exists in LA County. Their motion directs the LA County Emergency Medical Services Agency to work in collaboration with County Counsel to assess the feasibility, anticipated costs, anticipated outcomes, and develop an implementation plan for purchasing and deploying a mobile stroke unit program and report back in writing in the next 60 days.

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