Columbus, OH,
18:33 PM

OhioHealth Medical Minute: International Stroke Conference

MM - Stoke Conference

Each year the best and brightest from around the world gather for the American Heart Association International Stroke Conference. This year the event was held with a virtual element, but the information coming from the conference was truly life changing in many regards.

B.J. Hicks, MD, vascular neurologist at OhioHealth, and the co-director of the comprehensive stroke program at OhioHealth watched with great interest in a number of things happening, including a new report on mobile stroke treatment units from around the country.  Two years ago central Ohio rolled out the Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit for the first time.  

"There was new data out of a Houston, TX, study where they compared best medical therapies with tPA, the clot busting drug for stroke, through conventional emergency room methods, and then compared to mobile stroke units. What they found was that tPA was given much quicker and more often, and patients ended up doing better," Dr.Hicks said.

There was additional stroke information to come out of the conference. Dr. Hicks pointed to a study from Columbus done by Ohio State University College of Public Health, that focused on certain pockets of Columbus that were once impacted negatively for health equity and funding in a practice Dr. Hicks says was redlining.

"These communities were disenfranchised from the 1930's to the 1960's when these practices were deemed illegal," Dr. Hicks said. "The stain remains in some cases in regards to health inequality. In some of the communities the study shows people have strokes at a higher rate than in other areas."

Dr. Hicks says that there is some hope on the horizon, and one of the biggest ways to equal the playing field is to have the Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit.  He believes that when a call comes in, the unit will go where it is needed, helping anyone and getting life-saving care immediately.

"While that was a painful truth, this is what the beauty of the MSTU does," Dr. Hicks said. "This brings equitable, cutting edge stroke treatment to all citizens in this city."

The Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit is a partnership between OhioHealth, The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, Mount Carmel, and The Columbus Division of Fire.