MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The mobile stroke unit has been in operation since 2016 and has already saved many lives. On Tuesday, it earned a major seal of approval by receiving its accreditation Tuesday.
In an emergency, every second counts.
The team behind the University of Tennessee Health Science Center's Mobile Stroke Unit said it can provide higher quality, life-saving treatment to stroke patients much faster than traditional ambulances.
"Within seven minutes of our arrival, we have definite diagnosis," Andrei Alexandrov, medical director of the Mobile Stroke Unit, said.
"We respond like every other ambulance in the City of Memphis, but what's different is that we actually bring definitive technology to the patient's doorstep," he said.
The technology on board the unit--which includes a state of the art CT scanner--means that within 13 minutes the crew can give life-saving medicine to patients suffering the most-serious type of strokes.
Team members said the traditional hospital response takes more than an hour.
Gerry Sandlin said the mobile stroke unit saved his life after a mid-flight emergency earlier this year.
"I am tickled to death to be alive," Sandlin said.
In April, the Alabama resident returned to Memphis to thank doctors and the crew.
Now the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission is giving its seal of approval: accreditation.
"It's truly a stamp of your commitment, of UT's obligation and team approach to patient-centered care," Mary Lally, CEO of the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, said.
"This saves lives and what could be more important than that?"