Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: FW: Aspirin
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 00:17:46 -0400
Doctor and Scouter Tim O'Leary writing from Europe asked me to forward the
following message on his behalf to Scouts-L. (Thanks Tim for sharing):
> There has been some discussion lately about the topic of
> aspirin and heart attack. I am not a cardiologist, and
> I am not certain about the dose and form (enteric or not)
> of aspirin in the studies that have shown a benefit.
> Nonetheless, I believe I may be able to offer some useful
> advice. Some "heart attacks" occur so quickly that
> consciousness and pulse are lost within a couple of
> minutes. These are the ones we teach CPR for. Asprin
> not an issue here. The second group takes a while to
> evolve. These are the group that we teach the 5
> signs of heart attack for, and the group for which
> aspirin taken after the heart attack begins may
> help. This is also the group for whom advanced medical
> treatment is most likely to make a long-term difference.
> IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS THAT MAKE YOU THINK HEART ATTACK,
> CALL 911, or do whatever the next best local alternative
> is. Self medication with aspirin is for pain, not heart
> attack. Once the EMT guys are around, your survival odds
> go way up. Five or ten minutes with/without aspirin is
> not likely to make a big difference.
> When I teach first aid to scouts, I do something very
> bad. I add the sixth sign (AHA)of heart attack
> - DENIAL - to the list of 5. I have never seen a scout
> have a problem remembering this, but we adults
> sometimes do, especially when our own lives are
> at stake. I have on several occasions brought in
> the EMTs for possible "on the street" heart attack
> and found that I was overly conservative. The
> 911 guys don't complain.
> You could be a little embarrassed, I suppose, but the
> alternative may be to be DEAD WRONG. Embarrassment
> lasts for a few minutes. Death lasts for a
> long time, and is really hard on your families.
> Oh, yeah, while I am doing the MD thing. If you smoke,
> If you have high blood pressure, get it treated.
> If you are overweight, see what you can do
> to bring it under control.
> And exercize regularly, but if you are over 40 and
> haven't been, see your doctor first.
> If you havent had formal CPR training, get it, and
> make sure the other leaders do too.
> If you have been trained,
> make sure your certification is up to date.
> Timothy O'Leary, MD