ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guidelines on Heart Attacks

Updated on March 22, 2011

To take a heart attack - a myocardial infarction - first. If you suspect a heart attack, then it is vital to take a whole aspirin tablet immediately. Chew it, then swallow it. There is good evidence that it will work quickly to limit the size and severity of the clot in your coronary artery and limit the damage to your heart muscle. Do it even if you are taking aspirin every day. That's because there's evidence that the heart attack may have started in response to a flood of new platelets flushing out from the bone marrow - and they will not be affected by an aspirin taken an hour or more before. Only a fresh aspirin tablet will deal with them, and stop their clumping together, or to an artery wall, to form a clot.

So it is a good idea to carry an aspirin around with you, just in case. One tablet in a wallet or a handbag is enough. You don't need to have water with it - indeed it is a good idea to chew it, because that will get it into your bloodstream faster. From then on you should take half an aspirin a day for the rest of your life.

The guidelines also make it clear that if you are having a heart attack, the paramedic or doctor who first attends you should give a 'thrombolytic' (streptokinase and/or heparin, or tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and/or herapin) as soon as possible. This should be combined with a betablocker drug given into a vein to start with, then followed by a betablocker tablet for several years. You should also be given an ACE inhibitor within 24 hours, and continue with it for about a month if you are at a relatively low risk of dying, and for several months if you have any signs of heart failure (the two main ones are breathlessness and ankle swelling). Nitrates are useful to ease symptoms in the early stages after heart attack.

These may seem complicated treatment, but RCTs have proved that all of these treatment steps significantly lower death rates after heart attacks.

If you reach hospital within four hours of the onset of the chest pain, and have the typical ECG changes of poor oxygen flow to the heart muscle (ischemia), then your chances of survival are greatly improved by having an immediate balloon angioplasty (percutaneous transcoronary angioplasty, or PTCA). If this is done within 90 minutes of reaching hospital by an experienced team in a centre that is regularly performing PTCAs, it will prevent much, and perhaps even "all, of the irreversible damage to the heart.


Submit a Comment

  • topthings profile image


    7 years ago

    known but nicely written voted up


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)