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Millions donated to improve heart attack response in rural Minnesota

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Charitable gifts totaling $6.5 million will fund a new effort to improve care for heart attack patients in rural Minnesota.

The American Heart Association announced Thursday that it's pulled together the money for its Mission: Lifeline Minnesota program. The Associated Press reports it will provide rural hospitals and emergency crews with equipment and training to make a faster diagnosis of heart attacks caused by blocked arteries.

Heart attacks are the second leading cause of death in Minnesota and the type of heart attacks known as STEMI (ST-elevated myocardial infarction) are especially deadly without fast treatment. The heart association says that currently two-thirds of STEMI patients fail to receive the best treatment to restore blood flow.

While there are several components to the grant, MPR reports a centerpiece is the move to equip rural ambulances with electrocardiogram machines.

Learn more about Mission: Lifeline here.

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