The science behind immediate aspirin

10 Jan

A summary of the supporting evidence that immediate aspirin really can save lives.

There is strong evidence that aspirin, taken during a heart attack, can reduce the size of the thrombus (clot) causing the attack [1,2] and may even cause the platelets in the clot to disperse [3,4]. Aspirin also has effects on processes other than clotting [5,6], suggesting that if taken very early in an attack, the damage to the heart could be reduced and additional lives saved.

Patients known to be at risk of a heart attack, including all persons over about 50 years of age, would be well advised to carry a few tablets of soluble aspirin at all times, and chew and swallow a tablet immediately, if they experience severe chest pain, even as they are phoning 999.

Prof. P. Elwood DSc, MD, FRCP
Department of Primary Care and Public Health,
Cardiff University

Prof. Elwood carries ‘immediate’ aspirin himself for emergency personal use.

Refs.
1. Col NF, Yasrzbski J, Gore JM et al. 1995
2. Garcia-Dorado D, Therous P, Tornos P et al 1995
3. Gelman JS, Mehta J. 1985.
4. Roald HE, Sakariassen KS. 1995.
5. Bjornsson TD, Schneider DE, Berger H 1989
6. Moschos CB, Haider B, de la Cruz C et al 1978

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IMPORTANT NOTE: IF YOU NEED TO TAKE AN EMERGENCY DOSE OF ASPIRIN YOU MUST DIAL 999 FOR AN AMBULANCE FIRST – AND THEN IMMEDIATELY CHEW AND SWALLOW ONE 300mg SOLUBLE ASPIRIN.  If in doubt speak to your Doctor!

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