A minute can be critical in a heart attack situation and knowing the type of heart attack a patient is suffering can be crucial, especially for those in rural areas.
Every year hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer the most serious type of heart attack known as an ST-elevated myocardial infarction or STEMI, where blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart.
But now thanks to a new initiative, the rural areas of Nebraska will have trained EMS workers and equipment to identify this type of heart attack in the field.
The $5.3 million initiative known as Mission: Lifeline will be implemented over the next three years in the state.
It is expected to enhance the quality of heart attack care with the help of machines that assess the type of heart attack on scene by trained EMS workers.
"The EMS workers, the first responders with the ability of a 12 EKG can determine in the field if they are having a STEMI heart attack, which is a particular type of heart attack and so there's specific protocol's and directions that they need to be able to give the appropriate healthcare ASAP," explained the president of Good Samaritan Hospital, Mike Schnieders.
Many other states with large portions of rural communities have already seen a big change for patient care thanks to the program.
Officials say this will ultimately be a huge benefit for Nebraska patients and for heart attack care.