What does the ASPIRIN FOUNDATION say about early aspirin?

7 Feb

The ISIS-2 trial, co-ordinated in Oxford, reported on randomised aspirin and thrombolytic treatment after infarction in over 17,000 patients and the CAST trial involving 21,000 stroke patients gave evidence of a reduction in mortality when aspirin was given early after the onset of symptoms. The ISIS-2 trial showed that aspirin given within 0-4 hours of a heart attack reduced risk by 25% and if given within 5-24 hours after symptoms, reduced risk by 21%.

A report by the British Heart Foundation now recommends early therapeutic intervention with aspirin and rapid transferral of patients to hospital for intravenous thrombolysis with what is often described as a ‘clot buster’ drug.

Members of a family or work colleagues are thus ideally placed to begin early treatment with aspirin in patients with suspected acute MI, since aspirin can easily be given straight away. The recommended dose of aspirin given at this stage is 150mg (half a standard aspirin tablet) and the patient should be advised to chew the tablet to aid absorption. You must confirm that the patient is conscious and able to swallow before recommending the early or immediate administration of aspirin. Unconscious patients or those unable to swallow should not be given any medication by mouth but referred to emergency professional treatment immediately.

The advantage of this therapeutic strategy is that if the pain turns out to be simply muscular, aspirin will not have been inappropriate, whereas if the pain does arise from an infarct, ‘immediate’ or ‘early’ aspirin intervention may well save a life or prevent disability.

The Aspirin Foundation
Aspirin at Christmas
11.12.2001

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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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