Madison company builds fourth Mobile Stroke Unit in the world

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - What is a stroke? It's a brain attack and the leading cause of death each year. The National Stroke Association estimates 130,000 die every year when a stroke cuts off the flow of blood and oxygen to a person's brain. Workers at a Madison company might help lower that number.

WHNT News 19 got a look at one of the company’s trucks. It’s an emergency vehicle. It's more than an ambulance.

“It gives us an opportunity like never before to take the hospital and healthcare right to the patient`s bedside where they`re actually calling for help,” said Medical Professional Scott Swickard.

Medical professionals call it a Mobile Stroke Unit. Workers at Madison-based Excellance put it together.

“The intent behind this ambulance is for it to respond to suspect stroke patients and be able to analyze and medicate that patient,” said Excellance Regional Account Manager Tommy Pugh.

The Mobile Stroke Unit is the fourth in the world. Two others are in Germany.

The truck, designed closer to home, has a CT scanner, stowing system, medium-duty cab freight liner and measures almost 15 feet long.

“All of these things had to be developed specifically for this truck because they don`t exist other than the three in the world which are not consistent with our structure,” added Pugh.

The Mobile Stroke Unit can help first responders diagnose and treat strokes using a monitor allowing them to video chat with a doctor in a hospital.

The technology will allow first responders to use medicine more efficiently.

“There are a number of steps that have to happen before they can receive it. It can’t be given if it is not done in a timeframe,” added Swickard.

The truck, with all the equipment installed, is worth about one-million dollars.