Suffolk County residents now have an amazing resource in the event they or a loved one is experiencing either an ischemic stroke (when a clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain) or a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding within the brain tissue). In April 2019, Stony Brook Medicine launched Long Island’s first mobile stroke unit program designed to provide specialized, lifesaving care to people within the critical moments of stroke, before they even get to the hospital.
Just this past May, one of RSVP’s Telephone Reassurance volunteers, Cathy Meade, shared the story of her own family’s frightening medical emergency. Cathy’s daughter and son-in-law, Eileen and Bill Rothmeier had just returned to their home in Oakdale from a car trip upstate. Eileen became alarmed when Bill’s speech became slurred and quickly called 911. The operator immediately dispatched Stony Brook’s mobile stroke unit to their home, a first on Long Island. Mobile stroke unit personnel were able to transmit CAT scans directly to Stony Brook doctors to diagnose the type of stroke and treatment needed. Within moments, Bill was diagnosed with two blockages in his brain. Clot-busting IV drugs were administered on route. Bill’s stroke was stopped in its tracks! After Bill’s recovery, Eileen shared, “Everybody needs these in the country, the whole country, because it will save lives.”
Two of these one million dollar units are positioned right off the Long Island Expressway, at Exits 57 and 68 for maximum efficiency, located within 10 miles of 40 communities. In just six weeks, the units have already been dispatched 70 times and saved two lives. A third unit is planned for the Riverhead area. The mobile stroke unit program is available seven days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm, which is the window of time when most stroke calls are received in Suffolk County.
RSVP extends our very best wishes to the Rothmeier family for Bill’s continued good health. Thank you for sharing your incredible story with us. So glad it has a very “happy ending!”
Would you recognize the warning signs? Stroke, which can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, is the third leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Outcomes are greatly improved today, thanks to better treatments and awareness of the signs. Gain a better understanding of stroke signs and symptoms by attending one of RSVP’s Stroke Awareness Lectures presented by Marret Anderson RN, MSN, ANP-C, Stony Brook Stroke Navigator, Stony Brook Medicine.
If you would like to book a presentation for your senior club or organization, please call Terri at (631) 979-9490, extension 15.
EHAC is a public awareness campaign to learn the EARLY warning signs of a heart attack and prevent it from happening. Every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and every minute, someone will die of one! EHAC encourages early recognition when symptoms may be mild and to call 911. Be part of the movement to save hearts and save lives...
“Because Every Heart Matters”
Presented By: Brittany Kickel, RN, MSN
Chest Pain Coordinator
Stony Brook Heart Institute
To schedule a presentation, call Terri at (631) 979-9490 on ext. 15.