Showing posts with label Heart Attack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heart Attack. Show all posts

Jun 10, 2016

Aspirin and Heart Attack

Your chest feels heavy, as if you are in a vise and the pain is spreading to your jaw and shoulder. What to do, call 911, then chew a single uncoated full-size 325-mg aspirin.

The reason you need aspirin is the same reason you should call 911. A heart attack is a dynamic event, and early intervention can limit damage. Paramedics can give you oxygen and medication, and they will monitor your blood pressure and heart rhythm to forestall complications. In the hospital, doctors take EKGs and blood tests to see if you are having a heart attack; if so, they will usually try to open the blocked artery with an angioplasty and stent or a clot-busting drug.

Most heart attacks develop when a cholesterol-laden plaque in a coronary artery ruptures. Relatively small plaques, which produce partial blockages, are the ones most likely to rupture. When they do, they attract platelets to their surface. Platelets are the tiny blood cells that trigger blood clotting. A clot builds up on the ruptured plaque. As the clot grows, it blocks the artery. If the blockage is complete, it deprives a portion of the heart muscle of oxygen. As a result, muscle cells die, a heart attack.

Aspirin helps by inhibiting platelets and just a tiny amount is needed to inhibit all the platelets in the bloodstream. Since the clot grows minute by minute, time is of the essence.
Studies show that a chewed aspirin needs only five minutes to reduce TxB2 concentrations by 50% and 14 minutes for the chewed tablet to produce maximal platelet inhibition, versus 26 minutes for an unchewed aspirin swallowed with water.

Aspirin can also help prevent heart attacks in patients with coronary artery disease and in healthy men over 50 years of age. Low doses, between 81 and 325 mg a day, are needed.

Mar 6, 2015

Daylight Savings and Heart Attacks

A team of Swedish researchers conducted a study in 2008 that showed the rate of heart attacks during the first three weekdays following springtime daylight saving time increased by about 5 percent from the average rate during other times of the year. The effect did not arise at the end of daylight saving time in the fall.

The researchers attributed the small surge in heart attacks in the springtime to changes in people's sleep patterns. Lack of sleep can release stress hormones that increase inflammation, which can cause more severe complications in people already at risk of having a heart attack.

The 2009 Journal of Applied Psychology study found that mine workers arrived at work with 40 minutes less sleep and experienced 5.7 percent more workplace injuries in the week directly following the springtime daylight saving transition than during any other days of the year. The researchers attribute the injuries to lack of sleep.

A 2012 Journal of Applied Psychology study found that the incidence of cyberloafing significantly increased in more than 200 metropolitan US regions during the first Monday after daylight saving time in the spring, compared with the Mondays directly before and one week after the transition. The team attributed the shift to a lack of sleep and thus lack of workday motivation and focus.

Dec 14, 2012

Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

The terms “heart attack” and “cardiac arrest” are often used interchangeably. However, they are not equivalent. “Cardiac arrest” simply implies the heart has stopped pumping blood.  A heart attack is a lack of blood flow to a specific area of the heart caused by some blockage, spasm, or rupture.

People who have a heart attack are significantly more likely to survive than those who suffer cardiac arrest. While both are bad, cardiac arrest is worse.