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(Denison, IA) – Each year, more than half a million Americans experience ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), more commonly known as a heart attack, or out-of-hospital cardiac arrest or both. The majority of these patients fail to receive appropriate treatment for their life-threatening conditions within recommended timeframes.

The Mission: Lifeline program was created by the American Heart Association as a response to missed opportunities for prompt, appropriate STEMI treatment. Recently, Mission: Lifeline expanded to help existing STEMI systems of care incorporate out-of-hospital cardiac resuscitation into their systems.

As a result of the Mission: Lifeline program, the Dow City Fire/Ambulance Service and the Manilla Fire/Ambulance Service have both been awarded $25,000 grants to purchase 12-Lead ECG (Electrocardiogram) equipment. 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test using a device that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat. It can help medical personnel determine if a heart attack has occurred. It can also determine whether the heart attack was a STEMI or non-STEMI event. When a 12-lead ECG is done, 12 wires ("leads") are attached to the arms, legs and chest. These wires each record electrical impulses, but from a different position in relation to the heart.

The 12-Lead ECG equipment is meant to develop and enhance systems of care to improve patient care and reduce death and disability due to heart attacks or cardiac arrest. The grants were received through the assistance of Bruce Musgrave and the Ambulance department at Crawford County Memorial Hospital.

Musgrave noted the Mission: Lifeline program grants were only available in rural areas. The first round of grants in the competitive process were awarded to Ambulance services. The next two rounds of grants of 12-lead equipment will be open to First Responders units.

“I was ecstatic when we received news of the grant awards,” Musgrave said. “The 12-lead equipment for Dow City and Manilla will enhance patient care and early treatment of heart issues in the field.” Both Dow City and Manilla are active members of the Crawford County EMS Association.

Musgrave commented that CCMH and its Ambulance department will be working with other active members of the Crawford County EMS Association including First Responder units from Vail, Westside, Deloit, Kiron and Charter Oak in the next round of grant making from Mission: Lifeline.

“It is our goal to have the STEMI 12-lead ECG machines in every Ambulance or First Responder unit in the county,” Musgrave said.

CCMH is working on securing the equipment needed to accept and transmit the 12-lead data from the field to a cardiac center with Cath lab expertise. Musgrave said the funding for the equipment is available through a grant with the Mission: Lifeline program of the AHA.