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It is one of the first in the United States, and certainly a first for Cleveland. It is expected to make an enormous difference for stroke patients when every passing minute affects how well they recover.

In Cuyahoga County alone, more than 5,600 stroke patients are hospitalized every year. Despite the approval of the clot-busting drugs known as tPA nearly twenty years ago, across the Cleveland Clinic Health System only 15 percent of those arrive in time to benefit from it. The drug is used when a patient is having an ischemic stroke, one caused by a blood clot. The vast majority of strokes are ischemic.

Dr. Peter Rasmussen, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Cerebrovascular Center said bringing diagnosis and treatment to the patient should make a real difference in short and long term outcomes. “Brain cells really only have a few minutes to live without blood flow, so we really need to get treatment to patients as rapidly as possible. There’s no question if we treat patients at 90 minutes, they do much better than at 180 minutes. And the goal (with the mobile unit) is to initiate treatment at 30 to 40 minutes.”

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LOCAL NEWS: One Of The Country’s First Mobile Stroke Treatment Units Ready At Cleveland Clinic  was originally published on