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Mobile Stroke Unit Success in Melbourne

13 April 2021 - Crystal Smith

An innovative way of reaching potential stroke patients has been operating in Melbourne since November 2017, with a Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU) Ambulance able to bring imaging and clinical treatment to patients in the community. This MSU Ambulance is funded with extensive collaboration between the Stroke Foundation, the Victorian Government, Ambulance Victoria, Melbourne Health, the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and The University of Melbourne. It is able to bring significant resources out of the hospital setting and directly to patients, saving valuable time and improving neurological outcomes. 

The resources within the MSU include:

  • Specially configured Mercedes Sprinter van as Mobile Stroke Unit
  • Latest technology with mobile CT scanner, mobile pathology lab, and telehealth equipment
  • Fully staffed by neurologist/senior stroke fellow, stroke nurse specialist, CT radiographer and Mobile Intensive Care (MICA) paramedics
  • Medications to treat ischaemic or haemorrhagic strokes
  • Ability to track data across a variety of metrics, to improve stroke research and outcomes

Patients who receive MSU services are also asked to participate in ongoing clinical trials, to facilitate ongoing improvements to care. MSU overseas have primarily focused on thrombolytic therapies, whilst the Melbourne MSU has also been able to expedite access to endovascular thrombectomy (EVT). The opportunity to reduce time to thrombolysis or EVT has significantly reduced the risk of disability for patients who were able to access the MSU, and improved transfer times to appropriate EVT hospital centres. Further research and ongoing funding will hopefully extend the reach of the MSU, both within Melbourne and across the country.

If you would like to extend your knowledge regarding strokes and other neurological conditions, join us for the following programs:

For a full list of events and courses please visit


Melbourne Brain Centre, 2019, Mobile Stroke Unit, Royal Hospital Melbourne.

Stroke Foundation, ND, Stroke Ambulance, Stroke Foundation Research.

Zhao, H, Coote, S, Easton, D, Langenberg, F, et al, 2020, Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit and Reperfusion Therapy, Stroke, vol 51, no 3, p. 922-930,

Crystal Smith
Crystal Smith

Crystal Smith is a Senior Education Consultant for Critical Care Education Services (part of the Medcast Group). She has a clinical background in critical care, paediatrics and education.

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