Does Aspirin Help In A Heart Attack?


A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked. The blockage is most often a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances, which form a plaque in the arteries that feed the heart (coronary arteries).   If the blockage is complete, it deprives a portion of the heart muscle of oxygen. As a result, muscle cells die — and it’s a heart attack.

Heart attack symptoms can develop throughout several days. What often begins with feeling like indigestion. When antacids don’t help, and your chest freaks heavy with pain leading to your shoulder and jaw it is time to take an aspirin and call 911.

Acetylsalicylic acid or Aspirin is a common medication often used as a painkiller. Taking aspirin thins the blood making it less “sticky”.

To find out how aspirin works fastest, researchers in Texas asked 12 volunteers to take a standard 325-mg dose of aspirin in three different ways: by swallowing a tablet with 4 ounces of water, by chewing the tablet for 30 seconds before swallowing it, or by drinking 4 ounces of water with Alka-Seltzer. Each subject tried all three methods on an empty stomach on different days. The scientists monitored blood levels of aspirin and its active ingredient, salicylate, at frequent intervals, and they also measured thromboxane B2 (TxB2), an indicator of platelet activation that drops as platelets are inhibited.1In the above study, it was determined that chewing the aspirin worked the fastest and began showing positive results within five minutes. It took almost 14 minutes for the swallowed tablets.

Aspirin for heart attack prevention

Taking a low-dose 81mg Aspirin a day is good prevention for those that have a higher than ever age risk. It is essential to consult a physician before beginning an aspirin regime.



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What is the Difference Between Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Heart attack?

Often times sudden cardiac arrest and heart attack are used synonymously. In truth the two are very different from one another.

Sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating. A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked.

In short a heart attack is about “circulation” and sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem.

Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery prevents oxygen rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished begins to die. The longer a person goes without receiving treatment, greater damage will be done to the heart. Symptoms can occur almost immediately. Materializing as sharp pain in the chest, and may travel to the arm, shoulder and back. The symptoms may occur slowly over days or weeks prior to a heart attack. These symptoms often appear as shortness of breath or heartburn. Unlike with sudden cardiac arrest the heart usually doesn’t stop beating during a heart attack.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and very often without warning. It is when the heart abruptly begins to beat in an abnormal or irregular rhythm called (arrhythmia). Without organized electrical activity in the heart muscle, there is no consistent contraction of the ventricles, which results in the heart’s inability to generate an adequate cardiac output. With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Within seconds a person will lose consciousness and have no pulse. Death can occur within minutes if the victim does not receive immediate treatment.

Heart attacks do increase the risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Other heart conditions can also increase the likelihood for sudden cardiac arrest as well. These conditions include a thickened heart cardiomyopathy, heart failure, arrhythmias, particularly ventricular fibrillation, and long Q-T syndrome.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

A cardiac arrest victim can be saved if treated immediately. First, **call 9-1-1 for emergency medical services. Then get a Defibrillator (AED) automated external defibrillator if one is available and use it as soon as it arrives. Begin CPR immediately and continue until professional emergency medical personnel arrive. If two people are available, one should begin CPR immediately while the other calls 9-1-1 and finds the Defibrillator .

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death

There are over 320,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States. By performing Hands-Only CPR, you can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival.


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Cardiac Arrest VS. Heart Attack Infographic

Publix employees honored for saving co-workers life

Photo Courtesy of CBS 12

Two Publix Employees, Christina Holbrook and Erika Serkin used a defibrillator on Jon Powell, a meat cutter at Publix West Palm when he collapsed at work.

“I’m just glad to be here and I really don’t know what else to say. I mean everybody else, so many people jumped in to help. I’m grateful for that,” Powell said.

Erika Serkin, the Publix store manager saw Powell on the floor when Christina rushed over to assist.

“I saw him on the floor, and Erika was there and she said something about CPR and it’s all kind of a blur from there, I just went into action and gave him CPR,” said Christina Holbrook, Publix grocery clerk.

“We applied the AED machine to him and you press a button on it and it tells you step by step what you need to do,” Serkin said.

Both woman are happy that they had the been trained to use the defibrillator.

“I’m happy that everything turned out the way it did,” Holbrook said.

Source: CBS12