Twelve-lead electrocardigram equipment is now available in rural Nebraska thanks to grant funding through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Emergency Medical Services. The funding was approved by the legislature during last year's session.
What does this mean for rural Nebraska? It means that heart attack victims in rural areas will now have a better chance of survival. Moving people having a heart attack into the cath lab as quickly as possible is the key to survival and to minimizing damage to the heart and other vital organs. Identifying those patients who need cath intervention is faster and easier thanks to these 12-lead monitors.
According to Assistant Fire Chief Trent Kleinow of the North Platte Fire Department, "If someone is a candidate for the cath lab, we can bypass the emergency room and go straight there which can save a half an hour to an hour of the patient being re-evaluated and then turned over to the cath lab."
The North Platte Fire Department has used this equipment for about six years and now the rescue squads in Maxwell, Thedford, Curtis and Maywood will be able to equip their amulances as well.