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Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit

Every second matters when it comes to stroke care, as faster treatment can save lives and limit long-term effects.

Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit Vehicle

At UF Health, we know when it comes to strokes, we have to act FAST. As an extension of our comprehensive stroke center, the UF Health Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit, or MSTU, is designed to provide immediate care. It will decrease the time it takes to make an accurate stroke diagnosis and administer time-sensitive stroke therapies earlier — saving time and saving brain. UF Health’s unit is the first Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit in Florida.

By deploying to the patient, the team can begin treatment while in transit to the nearest available stroke center. This saves critical moments to reduce long-term disability from the stroke. The mobile stroke treatment unit in Gainesville will be staffed 12 hours a day, seven days a week and will provide service within a 30-mile radius. It will take patients to the closest certified stroke center available.

  • When a stroke is suspected, both EMS on a standard ambulance and the mobile stroke treatment unit will be dispatched simultaneously.
  • The stroke team will conduct a neurological evaluation.
  • If the results are consistent with stroke, treatment will begin immediately.
UF Health Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit

On board the stroke unit

UF Health’s mobile stroke unit specialized ambulance will include:

  • A 16-slice portable diagnostic CT scanner
  • Clot-busting drugs such as tenecteplase, or TNK
  • Medications given intravenously to lower high blood pressure
  • Medications used to reverse the effects of bleeding inside the brain
  • Telemedicine equipment

Our mobile stroke treatment unit team

Ambulances will be staffed by a team that includes:

  • Stroke-trained nurses
  • CT technicians
  • EMT drivers and paramedics,
  • Stroke neurologists (available via telemedicine)

Studies show improved clinical outcomes for stroke patients transported via mobile stroke unit versus a standard ambulance.

Director of the Mobile Stroke Program

  • Nicolle W Davis, FAHA, RN, SCRN, ASC-BC, FAHA, PhD

How the unit improves stroke outcomes

The Golden Hour

Treatment of stroke within the first hour leads to improved functional outcomes and decreases the chance of death. A large number of stroke patients arrive at the hospital too late to receive thrombolysis.

Time to treatment

The Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit decreases the median time from stroke onset to treatment by about 36 minutes. 33% of patients were treated with clot-busting drugs within the first hour on the MSTU, compared to only 3% with EMS management.

Increases chances for recovery

Use of a mobile stroke unit increases the number of disability-free patients by about 11%.

Mobile Stroke treatment across north-central Florida

UF Health will be launching more mobile stroke treatment units to cover The Villages, and, later, mobile stroke units are planned for Jacksonville and Palm Beach County. Only 20 mobile stroke programs are currently operational nationwide.

Map of Florida


Learn the signs of a stroke so you can help get life-saving care as soon as possible.

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