LVHN, Cetronia Ambulance Corps unveil state’s first mobile stroke unit
The Lehigh Valley Health Network Neurology Department, in partnership with Cetronia Ambulance Corps, recently unveiled the first Mobile Stroke Unit in Pennsylvania.
The ambulance, which houses a mobile computed radiography system is designed to diagnose and treat acute stroke victims before arrival at the nearest comprehensive stroke center.
Only Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township, and St. Luke’s Fountain Hill are comprehensive stroke centers in the Lehigh Valley.
According to LVHN Stroke Center Certified Nurse Practitioner Ken Reichenbach, the ambulance will be staffed by either a CRNP or physician assistant plus a CT radiographer (X-ray technologist certified in CT) and two Cetronia Ambulance Corps paramedics.
Once alerted by the 911 Center that a patient has signs of suffering a stroke, the unit will be dispatched from the ambulance corps headquarters on Broadway in the Cetronia section of South Whitehall Township.
If the patient’s location is outside the unit’s immediate response area, an advanced life support ambulance will be dispatched to maintain the patient until the arrival of the stroke unit.
Upon arrival, the Stroke Unit team will assess the patient’s health and if needed, perform a CT scan on the patient immediately to locate any potential obstructed vessels in the neck or brain.
If found, professionals on board will begin intravenous applications of clot breaking medications.
The unit will be begin serving patients in mid-April.
In the meantime, training on the unit will be conducted so all involved will be able to provide the highest level of pre-hospital stroke care available in the commonwealth.