For Geoff, what started as a family birthday celebration, quickly became a terrifying situation.

Herald Sun MSU patient story
Geoff and his grandson. (Photo credit: Herald Sun)

Lucky for him, it was his young grandson who noticed something wasn’t quite right with his grandfather, when Geoff started to experience stroke-like symptoms, and his family quickly made the call to triple zero (000). Given the nature of Geoff’s symptoms, the Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU) was dispatched.

The MSU is a purpose-built, 5.3 tonne Ambulance Victoria vehicle that has an on-board CT scanner, capable of imaging the patient’s brain to detect the type of stroke they’re having. This means assessment and treatment can begin immediately, rather than after the patient has arrived at hospital.

The 56-year-old grandfather was brought to the RMH and was later discharged only 48 hours after his stroke and is now home preparing to return to work.

Geoff’s story is a timely reminder of how important it is to call 000 at any signs of stroke – when it comes to stroke, time is so important.

RMH Nurse Lead on the MSU, Skye Coote explained that every 15 minutes treatment is delayed can add an extra month of disability for the patient.

“If you or a family member have any signs of stroke, call an ambulance. Every minute that treatment is delayed could be an extra month in rehab, away from your family and friends,” said Skye.

Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
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Life’s unpredictable. Our response isn’t.

We urgently need to raise $2.5 million for a second CT scanner in our Emergency Department.

This is a vital piece of equipment that provides rapid and accurate diagnosis for trauma and stroke patients like Brianna.