Barrow announces new program to improve treatment for stroke victims

By LLAF staff

Barrow Neurological Institute announced on June 14 that it has partnered with the Phoenix Fire Department in a new program designed to provide faster treatment to stroke victims.

The heart of the program is the Barrow Emergency Stroke Treatment Unit, a large emergency vehicle that’s one of only 10 mobile stroke units in the nation and the first to operate 24 hours a day in a city with a population larger than one million people.

The vehicle contains state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, has telemedicine capabilities and will always be staffed by a stroke-certified RN and a CT technician from Barrow.

The Barrow Emergency Stroke Treatment Unit will be dispatched along with Phoenix Fire through 911 calls that could lead to a possible stroke diagnosis.

“Because we know that fast treatment can greatly reduce the effects of stroke, we’ve adopted this new method to change the way stroke victims are treated,” says Dr. Michael Walters, director of the stroke program at Barrow Neurological Institute. “By deploying a mobile emergency room that includes the latest technology and medical expertise, we will be able to treat stroke patients much quicker than traditional methods.”

Phoenix Fire Department Chief Kara Kalkbrenner also praised the partnership and program.

“This is one additional way emergency response systems and the medical community are working together to continue to provide the most advanced care and support to Phoenix residents,” Kalkbrenner says. “Barrow and Phoenix Fire both have unique positions and skill sets and this partnership is bringing those traits together to improve the health and well-being of our community.”