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Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, Philanthropist Henry Gluck and Dr. May Nour, UCLA Medical Center show off the Mobile Stroke Unit. 


Unit will patrol La Mirada as well as Cerritos, Artesia, Bellflower, Lakewood, Paramount, Signal Hill, Hawaiian Gardens, Norwalk, and the unincorporated Whittier. 

By Tammye McDuff

Quick diagnosis and treatment for a stroke can mean the difference between a strong recovery, a lifelong disability, or death. Heart disease, be it heart attack or stroke, is the number one cause of disability in the nation and the fifth cause of death.

Lakewood and nine surrounding communities are fortunate that a stroke-specialty ambulance operated by the L.A. County Fire Department has just been assigned to the region. The ambulance is the first of its kind in California.

On Monday, January 8th Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn held a press conference and ribbon cutting to mark the launch of a Mobile Stroke Unit. The Mobile Stroke Unit is part of a pilot program launched by UCLA Health and funded by both the philanthropic efforts of the Arlene and Henry Gluck Foundation and the County of Los Angeles.

The Unit is a specialized ambulance equipped with a portable CT scanner that allows medical professionals to diagnose and treat strokes in the field.  By eliminating debilitating delays in treatment, mobile stroke units can save lives and prevent or reduce the long-term brain damage and disability associated with strokes. The technology is new and this particular Mobile Stroke Unit is the first in the Western United States

This Mobile Stroke Unit will begin responding to stroke related emergency calls starting Monday in the cities of Cerritos, Artesia, Bellflower, Lakewood, Paramount, Signal Hill, Hawaiian Gardens, Norwalk, and La Mirada as well as the area of unincorporated Whittier.  In the past year, firefighters working in those areas have responded to 818 stroke calls with 221 of those calls coming from Cerritos.

Strokes too often go undiagnosed or ignored for too long until their effects are very serious, which wastes valuable minutes and hours when treatment could be made that would prevent a patient from suffering a serious disability or death.

This Mobile Stroke Unit launch comes just 6 months after the Board of Supervisors passed a motion authored by Supervisor Hahn to fund the mobile stroke unit pilot program.

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