Heart attack happens when one of the coronary arteries (which provide blood to the heart), has developed a clot that obstructs the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.
Aspirin works by interfering with your blood's clotting action. Some prostaglandins in the blood trigger a series of events that cause blood platelets to clump together and form blood clots. Thus, when aspirin inhibits prostaglandins, it inhibits the formation of blood clots as well.
Scientific evidence have shown that in people who have experienced a heart attack, stroke or who have a disease of the blood vessels in the heart, a daily low dose of aspirin (80-325 mg) can help prevent a reoccurrence.
But for people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, the benefit has not been established but risks, such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach are still present
During a heart attack, it's essential to act fast to save a life.
Taking an Aspirin during a suspected heart attack increases chances of survival and minimizes damage to the heart.
Research shows that it takes 14 minutes for a chewed soluble tablet to produce maximal platelet inhibition, and 26 minutes for a swallowed tablet.
So if you think your elderly parent is having a heart attack:
- Call 911 or your emergency services number immediately
- Have him or her CHEW one standard adult dose aspirin (300-500 mg)
- If the person is conscious, keep the person calm and help him or her into a comfortable position until the ambulance arrives.
- If the person becomes unconscious, check for breathing and pulse; if absent, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).