A news report from the BBC stated, Heart attacks ‘are worse’ if they happen in the morning. It has been known for years that serious heart attacks tend to occur just when a person is getting out of bed. These heart attacks were stated to be caused by blockage of the heart artery (myocardial infarction). That blockage is usually caused by an embolism of fatty material breaking off from somewhere upstream of the heart and then being carried to the heart’s artery by the flow of blood where they form the clot.
Small embolisms are usually dissolved quickly by the body’s natural processes, but when they happen to be large, or small ones accumulated to form a large one they may block the flow of blood and thus retard the dissolving process. If the blood flow, which contains the dissolving properties, cannot clear the blockage, the living tissue downstream will go into a painful crisis mode, and if the tissue lacks blood beyond some critical time, it dies. When this happens to the heart muscle it is dramatic and painful, and sometimes lasts minutes and sometimes hours, depending on how blocked the artery is. When it happens to the brain, unconsciousness will come quickly and death will occur in five minutes. When other organs, or portions of the organs are affected, the blockage may be partial, and the person may survive but be permanently impaired.
A year ago I published Sleep with your heart attack aspirin handy and created a heart attack kit so a person could have aspirin available at all times and in their mouth in two seconds, where they could chew it up and suck on the mouth-spit. That procedure will begin getting life-saving aspirin to the heart within a minute.
For more information on why to always have aspirin instantly available see:
Keep your friends close and your aspirin closer.
The BBC article has a bold face recommendation –
“Regardless of the time of day, the quicker someone having a heart attack is treated, the less the damage they will have”
Judy O’Sullivan, British Heart Foundation
The article never mentions what that treatment should be and so their bold recommendation was hardly saying more than see your doctor when you think you might be having a heart attack. That of course would mean a minimum of an hour before you reached the hospital and are looking at thousands of dollars of expenses. With a serious blockage you will be one hour nearer death and with a total blockage you will be dead. What the New England Journal of Medicine recommends to hospitals admitting heart attack patients – give them aspirin immediately. Probably, a self-administered aspirin taken within seconds of the onset of heart pain would clear out most serious blockages and many total blockages. If the pain is totally gone in five minutes there would be no need to go the emergency room, assuming one was even available.
My personal self-experimentation with chewing aspirin and smearing aspirin laden saliva-paste around in my mouth, but not swallowing it, is that all of the aspirin was gone in a minute – without swallowing. The tongue itself absorbs the tiny aspirin molecules into the bloodstream. This method would probably create an even faster absorbtion rate than shown in the graph above. The graph is from an informative article from the Harvard University web site – Aspirin for heart attack: Chew or swallow?
All that I am saying here is obvious. When you think you are having a heart attack or possibly some other form of sudden onset, embolism-caused discomfort, take an aspirin instantly, wait five minutes and take a second one but no more than two. That can be done for a few pennies and will do you far more good than aspirin taken at the hospital an hour after the embolism formed and your are at risk of suffering a serious permanent disability – or death. More people die of embolisms than any other cause, so I recommend having your one penny’s worth of aspirin instantly available at all times. I replete myself but are you listening?
The clots formed upon arising in the morning are probably larger than at other times of day, because of pooling of the blood in low areas of venous flow when the person is sleeping and doesn’t change position very often. When the person awakes and gets up, all of these collected pieces of material get dumped into the heart at one time and the combined mass of little platelets plugs the arteries. Another source of plaque flowing in the blood stream when getting up would come from the physical movement of the veins and arteries at arising after hours of physical inactivity, causing the platelets to break off from the blood vessels at a higher rate for a brief time. These are probably the major reasons why these attacks occur first thing in the morning upon arising, and why the attacks are more severe.
Keep your aspirin instantly available, especially when sleeping.
It saddens me that I published the essence of this article in November 1994, in Proba-95-Clots, and repeatedly in various forms on the internet and it was never picked up and viralized. The practice of this simple knowledge would have added years of healthy life to millions of people.
Keep two aspirin in your wallet! Take one aspirin at the first sign of heart attack!