What do you do when you feel chest pain, dizzy, numbness in your face or jaw? Immediately tell the person closest to you. If you are out with strangers, write down a contact number of a family member or friend to call and give it to someone. Describe your symptoms. Sit or lie down so you don’t fall. If the symptoms are severe, tell someone to call 911.

Unless you have a history of ulcers, bleeding episodes, or aspirin allergy, immediately chew 2 or 4 baby aspirin (160 mg-325 mg). Chewing the aspirin will help it to be absorbed quickly. Aspirin has the ability to quickly thin the blood, improve blood flow, and dissolve small blood clots before they may cause damage to the heart or brain.

Aspirin is often prescribed in low doses on a long term basis to patients to reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack. In a large multi-center study, of patients having acute heart attacks, early treatment with aspirin (160 mg) was found to reduce deaths by 23%.

For ongoing use, coated aspirin is better, but for emergency use, you should have a bottle of chewable baby aspirin with you always ready to take if needed .

Once your symptoms resolve on their own, you should still discuss the episode with your physician so they can check you for heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension. Reducing these risk factors and developing a strategy with your health care provider can help insure you live a long healthy life.


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