A STEMI carries a substantial risk of death and disability and calls for a quick response on many fronts. It can be quickly recognized using a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). In 2014, The Helmsley Charitable Trust gave the American Heart Association a $4.6 million grant to improve care for acute heart attack patients in Montana. The grant enabled the Western States Affiliate Mission: Lifeline team to purchase 12-lead EKG machines for ambulances across the state and provide STEMI education to more than 80 EMS agencies. This helped reduce mortality rates by nearly 4 percent!
Throughout the United States each year, nearly 931,000 people suffer heart attacks. About 250,000 of those patients suffer a severe type of heart attack (an ST-elevated myocardial infarction, or STEMI) caused by the sudden, total blockage of a coronary artery. According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the Montana Hospital Association, 1,799 people were hospitalized in Montana for acute heart attack in 2012, and of those, 777 were STEMIs.
The passage of the STEMI Registry bill will help Montana continue to save lives and reduce disability from these deadly heart attacks – and it ensures another policy victory for our amazing Western States Affiliate Advocacy Team!