If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with heart disease, heart attack treatment and prevention are extremely important topics for you. Your doctor probably recommended that you take a low dosage of aspirin daily to help avoid a heart attack. You probably have heard that the chances of you surviving a heart attack are much better by taking that aspirin. But you probably also wonder why.
Well, think about what it would be like to be sitting at home on the sofa watching television with your family. All of a sudden you get this feeling that someone is tightening these wide bands of steel around your body. You move around a bit, but the feeling is still there. You begin to wonder if its stress, and you take some deep breaths. The pain then begins to move around your shoulders and jaw. You tell your spouse what’s going on and they run and call an ambulance and bring you back an aspirin to take.
Heart attacks are ongoing events in our body. It’s not something that will just start one second and be done in three minutes. The moment a heart attack begins, you can limit the damage to your body and heart by taking some action fast. Taking an aspirin is one thing to do as soon as a heart attack starts, and calling for medical emergency assistance needs to happen as well.
When the paramedics come, you will receive oxygen and medication to help your heart. They monitor your heart rhythm and blood pressure to prevent any further complications. Next, they rush you to the hospital.
At the hospital, doctors will do an EKG and blood tests to confirm a heart attack. If you have had a heart attack or are currently having one, they will probably try to find the blocked artery and open it up with a stint, drug or by performing angioplasty.
The role that aspirin plays in a heart attack is by slowing down platelets. These platelets are tiny blood cells that trigger the clotting of blood. For example, if you cut your thumb, blood will run from the open cut. Quickly, the platelets will go towards the cut and begin to work to clot the blood. You will notice that if you take an aspirin after you get cut, you would not see the blood slowing down anytime soon. Now, in the case of your cut finger, you wouldn’t want to do this because you want the blood to clot.
In the case of a heart attack, you do not want to find your blood clotting. Most heart attacks happen because of a rupture from plaque that is in the coronary artery. The rupture happens and the body knows that it needs platelets. Next, the platelets rush to trigger a blood clot which grows larger and larger. It will continue to grow which causes it to block the artery. Because blood can’t get to the heart because of the blockage, no oxygen is getting to the heart. With no oxygen, the heart can die which is why a heart attack happens. Taking that aspirin as soon as a heart attack starts will immediately slow down that rush of platelets. It will be hard for the blood to clot and limit the risks of more damage from the heart attack.