If you think you are having a heart attack, the two most important actions you can take are to call 9-1-1 and swallow an aspirin. “An aspirin can save your life,” says Duc T. Nguyen, DO, interventional cardiologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “It is also important for people who have already experienced a heart attack – and those who are at risk of having a heart attack – to take a daily regimen of aspirin.”
A heart attack occurs when a clot blocks blood flow through the heart muscle. Aspirin works well because it stops blood platelets from sticking together, which prevents blood clots. “If you are having a heart attack, you will need other medications in addition to aspirin to prevent long-term damage,” says Nguyen. “But aspirin is one of the cornerstones of the therapies you will need to take for the rest of your life.”
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