In a stroke situation, time—and rapid treatment—is of the essence. Armed with this information, the Charleston-based Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the Georgetown County Fire/EMS have recently teamed up to test the possibility of utilizing MRI to scan stroke patients in the back of a moving ambulance.

The goal, according to MUSC, was to “cut down the steps that need to happen between the time a stroke patient is wheeled through the ambulance bay until the treatment can begin.” 

Doctors went into the project with the assumption that the sooner an MRI was performed, the better the patient outcome, especially for those experiencing oxygen deprivation.

Dr. Christine Holmstedt, who serves as MUSC’s Medical Director for Clinical Stroke Services, explained that “for every 15-minute reduction in ‘door-to-needle time,’ there’s a significant improvement in patient outcomes, including reduction in disabilities and reduction in mortality.”

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