If you ever witness an incident of heart attack, whether it is from a television drama or real-life situation, you will realized that after the patient grasps his or her chest, they will then proceed to fumble all over their pockets just to find the bottle of pills. The patient may feel relieved in a short while and made you think that those are really some magic pills. Actually, it is the aspirin, which is a drug used commonly for fever or pain. But how does a common medicine like that becomes a life saving essential in a heart attack patient? Let us find out more on the topic of aspirin for a heart attack!
First and foremost, it is important for us to learn the mechanism of a heart attack happened in a human being. In the individuals who have risk factors such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension or high cholesterol level, their blood vessels are more likely to be damaged. When the arteries supplying the heart are damaged, clotting factors, platelets and fats will start to pool at the affected area and form a globe of clots known as plaque. As time pass, plaque will attract more and more deposition bringing forth the hardening of the affected arteries and obstruction of blood flow in the arteries. This whole process is what leads to a phenomenon that we called atherosclerosis. The heart eventually devoid of oxygen supply and heart cells start to die off rendering the heart function to be compromised. When the arteries are severely blocked, the heart fails to pump and this is what common people have known as a heart attack.
The explanation may seem mundane but it is important to understand the whole process so that it can show the effect of Aspirin as the life-saving drug. Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which serves as pain relief medication, it also has an antiplatelet effect. It can inhibit the Thromboxane A2 synthesis by platelets which prevent further platelet aggregation, which in layman’s context, it is known to thin the blood. In an individual suffering from a heart attack, you do not want any further clots formation to block the affected arteries further so popping 300mg of Aspirin immediately is able to prevent that. It is recommended that you chew the tablets before swallowing them to enhance the speed of action.
Not only it is useful in emergency settings, but it also serves a major role in the prevention of the next episode of heart attack to occur. It is recommended that patients with a history of heart attack should be put on 75mg of Aspirin daily unless it is contraindicated. Individuals who develop an allergic reaction towards Aspirin, having a history of brain or gut bleeding, active stomach ulcer disease, bleeding disorders, kidney or liver failure are not recommended to be put on Aspirin, they will be prescribed with alternative medications such as Clopidogrel or Ticlodipine. Aspirin seems to be the ultimate saviour for patients with heart attack, but good control of the risk factors is also necessary for the prevention of heart attack. These individuals should always be vigilant by controlling their sugar level, blood pressure or cholesterol level by implementing a healthy diet and lifestyle, and of course, stop smoking and adhere to the advice given by doctors.