New initiative to improving heart attack care in rural Nebraska

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Updated: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 09:58:19 CST

A Life–saver.

That's what rural EMT's are saying about a million dollar grant they've received.  The American Heart Association announced a 5 point 3 million dollar initiative called Mission Lifeline to expand and enhance heart attack care in rural Nebraska.  All ambulances will now be provided with 12–lead ECG units.  They can share patient information with nearby hospitals.  This will help doctors save valuable seconds once the patient arrives at the hospital.

"The cardiologist can look at it immediately and help diagnose the patient while they are still at their home or the ambulance with the paramedic or ACLS crews," said Dr. Jose Friesen, a Cardiologist.

In a situation where time is everything, paramedics in Hastings know exactly how this can help.  Traveling to rural areas can be a fight against time.  Every second makes a difference.

"I think this greatly increases the, like you said, the chances of survival, or to decrease the amount of injury suffered when a person does have a heart attack by proving the 12–lead EKG and advanced life support and interventions," said Baul Ishii, a Hastings Fire Department paramedic.

Helmsley Charitable Trust is providing the American Heart Assosiation a 4 point 1 million dollar grant for this project.