Would You Know If You Were Having a Heart Attack?

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Consider Aspirin (Maybe)

Taking aspirin soon after a heart attack can significantly improve survival -- but not always. Conditions that make even one aspirin risky? Stomach ulcers, being on blood-thinning drugs or, of course, an aspirin allergy. The 911 operator should ask about these and also try to determine whether your symptoms might signal a stroke. Aspirin can worsen the form of stroke triggered by a ruptured blood vessel. Otherwise, an aspirin can help slow further buildup of the clot that's causing the attack. Chew one standard-strength 325mg aspirin tablet or an equivalent dose of Alka-Seltzer in water. Don't take coated aspirin, which acts more slowly, even when you chew it.

Continued on page 4:  Wait for the Ambulance (Always!)


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