Gov. Dalrymple today announced that the state of North Dakota will receive a grant of about $3 million from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The grant will be received over the next three years and used to purchase lifesaving equipment that can increase survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest.
"Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in our country," Gov. Dalrymple said. "By placing automatic chest compression equipment in our ambulances and hospitals across the state, we have the opportunity to help save lives. This will be particularly critical for our rural ambulance services and will increase chances of survival for North Dakotans."
The Department of Health will oversee the initiative, including the placement of automated chest compression devices, called LUCAS® 2 Chest Compression, into ambulance services and hospitals across the state. Department of Health will coordinate training for using the devices, which is also supported through the grant. Additionally, the Department will collaborate with its counterparts in South Dakota, who have also received funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust for the same purpose.
"Despite the finest cardiologists, hospitals, emergency rooms, and pre-hospital care, the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is less than five percent nationally," said Arvy Smith, Deputy State Health Officer for the North Dakota Department of Health. "Installing these lifesaving devices in each EMS agency and hospital across the state could triple the survival rates for residents of North Dakota."
When cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops abruptly, the victim collapses and quickly loses consciousness. If a normal heart rhythm is not restored within minutes, the person usually dies. The automated chest compression device more effectively and consistently delivers the necessary chest compressions, increasing the patient's chances of survival.
The Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in a variety of selected areas. Since 2008, when the Trust began its active grant making, it has committed more than $900 million to a wide range of charitable organizations.
The Trust's Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $186 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa and Montana.