EXCLUSIVE: Aspirin can be a life saving drug in 25 to 30 percent heart attack cases, reveals expert
Waking up in the middle of the night feeling uncomfortable might happen due to several reasons, including anxiety and panic attacks. However, if you have a family history of heart attacks or fall under the risk category, doctors suggest one should immediately consult a doctor. The risk category, of course, includes diabetics, patients suffering from high blood pressure and smokers.
While it is difficult to differentiate between a normal chest pain and the one signaling a possible heart attack, it is not a bad idea to stay on the safe side.
“Chest pain mostly occurs due to gas and acidity. It is almost similar to the one caused by a possible heart attack. But, if the pain persists for more than half an hour, it is advisable that one should rush to a nearby hospital and also get an ECG done,” says Dr. Subhendu Mohanty, Head and Senior Consultant - Cardiologist, Sharda Hospital, Greater Noida.
However, this doesn't mean that one should rush to the hospital even with a mild chest pain. "This way, you will be in the hospital every four days. If the pain is intolerable, then you should go to the hospital. If the pain was sharp, but has gone away within five minutes, then there are chances it was because of gas," says Mohanty.
He adds that science works on probability, and no doctor, let alone a common man, can differentiate between chest pains. In case of no chest pain and only a feeling of discomfort, you need to know whether you have had a panic attack before. If not, then it can be a warning sign of a heart attack, because panic attacks need triggers and if there aren't any, it is due to blockage in the heart.
Mohanty points out that usually in such a situation people want to go to the best doctor, but this is not advisable. During this time, your focus should be solely on getting first aid because in heart attack time matters.
“If one reaches the doctor on time, the recovery rate improves. The later you come to the hospital; the lesser your body’s response rate to the medications. The risk, however, starts as soon as you feel chest pain. Now, who survives and who not is a matter of chance. The probability of sudden death due to heart attack is more than 8-15 percent,” Mohanty points out.
If, due to some unavoidable circumstances, you couldn’t reach a hospital, then in this case one should take as much rest as possible and have aspirin.
“I know patients who when suffering from discomfort or chest pain start jogging or walking. This won’t make the situation any better, but will definitely make it worse. Also, aspirin, studies suggest, in such cases can prove to be a life-saving drug in more than 25-30 percent cases, because it is a blood thinner and can help in clearing blockage. With that being said, this doesn’t mean that one should step into the shoes of the doctor and start the treatment. This is only advisable if you are getting late in reaching the hospital and should be only seen as a first aid,” explains Mohanty.
Heart attacks have turned young and are no longer restricted to a particular group.
“Though, it is the risk category who is of course prone to heart attacks, it is not uncommon for a layman to get it. Several studies suggest that 0.3 percent of the population is prone to getting a heart attack. Take for example, if you are driving a car at 60 kmph with your seat belt on, you have reduced the risk of an accident, but this doesn’t mean it cannot happen. Similarly, if you are driving at 100 kmph without the seat belts, you are at a higher risk of meeting with an accident. Here, accidents can happen in both cases, but it can be prevented in the second case. The same holds true with heart attacks too,” explains Mohanty.
- Don't keep on relying on home remedies like churan, ENO and others, in case of a persistent chest pain or discomfort.
- Don't delay treatment. Rush to the nearby hospital if you sense the risk of a heart attack.