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Stony Brook Medicine Unveils High-Tech Mobile Emergency Units To Treat People Suffering From Stroke

STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- New state-of-the-art technology could help save thousands of lives in Suffolk County.

Stony Brook Medicine is rolling out new mobile emergency units to treat people on the go who are having a stroke. On Monday, CBS2's Reena Roy got a sneak peek at how it all works.

At first glance, it may look like a regular ambulance. But in fact, a simulation shows us a brand new, high-tech mobile stroke unit, one of the most advanced in the entire country, and the only of its kind on Long Island.

"This is an absolute state-of-the-art machine," said Dr. Michael Guido of Stony Brook Medicine.

"I think we can achieve the lowest rates of death and disability from stroke in entire United States if we can make this program successful," added Dr. David Fiorella.

Stony Brook Medicine Mobile Emergency Unit
Stony Brook Medicine rolled out new mobile emergency units on March 18, 2019, to treat people who are having a stroke. (credit: CBS2)

Stony Brook Medicine rolled out two of the $1 million trucks, which will be stationed on the Long Island Expressway and respond to 911 calls alongside EMS units for anyone having a stroke.

"If you have a stroke or a potential stroke, these units would be able to respond to your home, like in an emergency mobile unit, and diagnose you accurately with stroke," Dr. Fiorella said.

Officials said the on-the-go treatment center will save a lot of precious time, and during a stroke every minute counts.

"Brain cells do not regenerate, so once they are lost they do not come back," Dr. Fiorella said.

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That's because four highly trained responders who specialize in strokes will be on hand to administer emergency medicine for blood flow, and even take a CT scan of the brain.

One of the most important features is the ability for neurologists at the hospital to view what's happening live inside the unit as a stroke patient gets treatment on the scene.

"We can see the patient and also the CT scan. This will significantly reduce the time to treatment," Dr. Guido said.

As that's all happening, the patient will be taken to a hospital.

The units will officially be in place starting April 1, and available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the time of day when strokes happen most.

The hospital is hoping to eventually add a third mobile stroke unit in Riverhead.

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