$4.6M goes to improve heart-attack response

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The American Heart Association says a $4.6 million donation will go to improve the emergency medical response to heart attacks in rural Montana.

The association and Gov. Steve Bullock said Monday the donation from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will create a three-year "Mission: Lifeline" project in Montana.

The aim will be to equip hospitals and emergency responders with mobile equipment and training, plus data tools, coordinated protocols and a public education campaign.

The mission targets diagnosis and treatment for heart attacks caused by total artery blockage, which are often deadly without a fast response.

Those heart attacks are called ST-elevated myocardial infarction episodes, or STEMI.

Health officials say nearly 1,800 people in Montana were hospitalized with heart attacks in 2012, and 777 of those were STEMI cases.

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