If you think you are having a heart attack, aspirin can be used to quickly thin out your platelets. Doctors sometimes recommend patients take a low-dose of aspirin every day to keep your blood thinner. However, a daily aspirin is not for everyon...
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Question: How is aspirin used for people with cardiovascular disease? Aspirin in an emergency: Dr. Amy Epps: I think that the first thing you need to do, if you're having one of the concerning warning signs for heart attack especially with the chest discomfort or the shortness of breath, it's abrupt and profound, or the pain in the jaw or an arm, that the first thing you do is take an aspirin. An aspirin in the very short run can help thin out some of your platelets which are some of the clotting factors in your blood. To thin out that blood, just enough sort of a trickle of blood may go through an otherwise blocked artery, and keep you alive. So an aspirin is a blood thinner. And if you're in the acute setting and having these symptoms very abruptly then you need to chew that aspirin, because it will be absorbed very quickly, and it can really save your life. Aspirin as prevention: Dr. Amy Epps: But an aspirin a day otherwise is a good preventative sort of treatment for coronary artery, and other types of cardiovascular disease by keeping your blood a little thin, Even a baby aspirin, 81-milligram dose of aspirin is very beneficial, and just keeping some of those clotting factors in your blood stream, thinned out enough that if you have diseased vessels, it's going to help blood flow pass that disease, process in the vessels much easier and not get clocked up cause an obstruction. Who should take a daily aspirin? Dr. Amy Epps: Anybody with risk factors for coronary artery disease should probably be on at least a low dose aspirin unless they have some obvious reason not to, such as a bleeding problem or stomach ulcers, those type of things. But anyone in that -- at least moderate risk for coronary artery diseases especially should probably take a low dose aspirin or at least ask your doctor about it.

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