Should You Take Aspirin During a Suspected Heart Attack?

Summer 2010 CSANews Issue 75  |  Posted date : Jul 20, 2010.Back to list

Some sources claim that taking an aspirin during a suspected heart attack greatly increases one's chances of survival. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, those suspecting a heart attack should immediately call 911, sit or lie down and, if experiencing chest pain, chew and swallow one adult 325-mg tablet or two 80-mg tablets of ASA (acetylsalicylic acid, commonly referred to as aspirin). Similarly, a study in Texas found that chewed aspirins work faster in reducing TxB2 (thromboxane B2, an indicator of platelet activation that drops as platelets are inhibited) than dissolved or swallowed aspirin.

However, the American Heart Association recommends first calling 911 and speaking with an operator or EMT before taking aspirin. Some people have an allergy to aspirin or a condition that makes using it too risky. Also, if you are suffering from a stroke or other condition and not a heart attack, taking an aspirin may be dangerous. The FDA advises speaking with your doctor beforehand, to ensure that you are aware of the best course of action in the event of experiencing a heart attack.