Chew Aspirin for Heart Attack

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It’s 7:00 AM.  You have a heavy chest, like your chest is in a vice.  Even though you haven’t had breakfast you think maybe a couple of antacids will help, they don’t.  The pain spreads to your jaw and shoulder.  Your wife looks at you.  She’s off to the phone and calls 911, and then she brings you an aspirin and some water.

You may be having a heart attack and you have to get to the hospital fast, that’s why 911 was called without delay.  Your wife also knew that you need to get aspirin into your system fast, but should you chew the aspirin or swallow it.  The right answer is – chew the aspirin.  And chew a standard non enteric-coated 325 mg tablet, not the 81 mg low-dose (or baby) aspirin.  Let’s review:

  1. Call 911.
  2. Chew a standard non enteric-coated 325 mg aspirin tablet.

911 will get you the emergency help you need, both transportation to the hospital when the paramedics work on you, and the medical help you get on arrival to the ER.  The aspirin is working in the meantime.  Why is that?

Cholesterol-laden plaque can build in a coronary artery.  The plaque ruptures.  It attracts platelets.  Platelets are tiny blood cells that trigger blood clotting.  The clot builds upon the rupture blocking blood flow in the artery.  When the blockage is complete, a portion of the heart muscles dies because of oxygen deprivation and that, is a heart attack.

Aspirin inhibits platelets.  A small amount of aspirin is all that is needed.  In fact small doses are better than large doses.  The clot keeps on growing, so the quicker you chew that aspirin, the better your chances.

Researchers in Texas tested three different methods of taking aspirin.  They were chewing an aspirin for 30 seconds, taking an aspirin with four ounces of water, or drinking Alka-Seltzer with four ounces of water.  The results showed that chewed aspirin worked the fastest.

As most of you know, aspirin can help prevent heart attacks in patients with coronary artery disease and men over 50 years old.  Just a low dose of aspirin is needed, somewhere between 81 and 325 mg per day.  Before you start an aspirin regimen, first talk to your doctor, there are certain health concerns where aspirin should not be taken. But if you think you are having a heart attack, chew a non enteric-coated 325 mg aspirin and don’t forget to call 911.

Remember that old piece of advice about taking two aspirin and call the doctor in the morning…chew that one over.

Thanks to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide for the information for this blog.

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Remember, it’s rChance to thrive, every day and in every way.

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