The state-of-the-art bus designed and developed by USA-based Schiller has a CT scan unit, intensive care unit with basic facilities, laboratory to diagnose the type of stroke and telemedicine conferencing facility. It will be manned by a seven-member team comprising a neurologist (or a doctor), a respiratory therapist, two nurses, a lab technician, a support staff and a trained driver. Hospital sources said that the CT scan facility was built on the vehicle with the cooperation of The Atomic Energy Commission of India, so that it is safe to perform CT scan even while the vehicle is on the move. The mobile unit also requires support of the police department and the transport authorities to ensure unobstructed movement of the vehicle.
“Soon after reaching the patient, the unit will immediately perform a CT scan to map the place where the clot or haemorrhage is located while the patient is on the way to the hospital. This will avoid time wasted in waiting to perform the scan as it is possible now only when the patient has reached the hospital,” a hospital official said. In case of a clot in the brain, second line treatment will begin by administering medicine to burst the clot, on the move. Teleconferencing plays a vital role in this aspect. Hospital chairman Nalla G Palanisamy said that the mobile stroke unit has been specially designed for Indian roads. The hospital plans to operate the bus in a 150km radius that would cover areas from Salem in Tamil Nadu to Thrissur in Kerala However, in the first phase it will be operated in a 100km radius.