Press release


Mobile stroke unit improves stroke care

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Positive results from the two-year research project

Vorstellung der Studienergebnisse des Berliner Stroke-Einsatz-Mobils (STEMO)
Das STEMO-Team mit Gerhard W. Meyer (Meytec GmbH), Wilfried Gräfling (Landesbranddirektor, Berliner Feuerwehr), Prof. Karl Max Einhäupl (Vorstandsvorsitzender der Charité), Prof. Heinrich Audebert (Leiter des STEMO-Forschungsprojekts, Klinik für Neurologie , Charité), Cornelia Yzer (Berliner Senatorin für Wirtschaft, Technologie und Forschung), Prof. Matthias Endres (Direktor der Klinik für Neurologie, Charité) (v.l.)

A large-scale study by the CharitéUniversitätsmedizin Berlin involving 7,000 patients reveals that a considerably greater number of persons affected by strokes can be treated effectively and significantly more quickly by use of the mobile stroke unit (STEMO). The STEMO is a rescue vehicle especially designed for patients suffering from strokes: on board are a computer tomograph and a mini laboratory as well as specially trained rescue personnel and a neurological specialist.

“The STEMO represents a first-class collaboration between the Charité, the Berlin Fire Brigade and the two Brandenburg companies which have worked together to develop this specialized ambulance.”, stated Prof. Karl Max Einhäupl, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Charité. At the presentation, Senator Yzer congratulated the entire team for the national and international recognition received by the project – most recently last week in London. Cornelia Yzer, Senator for Economics, Technology and Research, stated: “The STEMO funding from the Berlin Fund for the Future is an outstanding investment in medicine, technology and research. The mobile stroke unit illustrates what technology funding together with the researcher spirit and medical know-how can achieve in Berlin. This is yet another of Berlin’s reference projects to have triggered international interest.”

Time is of the essence when a person is having a stroke, because no tissue is irreparably damaged as fast as brain tissue when the supply of blood is interrupted. In this representative comparative study, the researchers headed by Prof. Heinrich Audebert of the Department of Neurology and Project Director assessed the data from 7,000 patients over a period of 21 months. In the process, the STEMO was used in a normal rescue vehicle in alternating weeks. “In the knowledge that 1.9 million nerve cells die every minute during an acute stroke, we are delighted that a relevant improvement in the treatment of strokes in Berlin has been achieved as part of a new care concept”, Prof. Heinrich Audebert stated.

In comparison to the control weeks, both a reduction in the time from the emergency call up to the initiation of treatment and a significant increase in the lysis frequency were revealed. The lysis therapy consists of using medication to dissolve a blot clot that is clogging an artery. In the cases that the STEMO received an alarm, 50 percent more stroke patients received such a lysis compared to those patients receiving conventional hospital treatment. Therefore, overall the treatment rate increased from 21 to 33 percent. The time between the emergency call and the therapy was reduced by 25 minutes. The treatment received was just as secure as in a hospital.

Prof. Matthias Endres, Director of the Department of Neurology at the Charité, considers the project equally positively, stating: ”We are confident that competent medical treatment of specific disease patterns can take place within these specially designed ambulances. Such timely intervention will provide us with the opportunity to use novel therapies.”

The STEMO was developed in a consortium consisting of the Charité, the Berlin Fire service as well as the Meytec GmbH and Brahms GmbH companies

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Prof. Heinrich Audebert
Head of the STEMO Project
Klinik für Neurologie
CharitéUniversitätsmedizin Berlin
t: +49 30 8445 2276

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