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Atherosclerosis is when fatty deposits called plaques build up in arteries, narrowing and stiffening them. This restricts blood flow and can lead to heart attacks and strokes.


Aspirin reduces the ability of blood platelets to stick together and form clots. It inhibits platelet activation, keeping the blood flowing smoothly in the arteries. This reduces the risk of a heart attack and minimizes its severity if one occurs.

Ischemic Chest Pain & ASA:

ASA encourages maintained blood flow, even at a reduced rate, due to its platelet aggregation inhibitor properties and can prevent a complete blockage of the artery in the heart.


Giving ASA could prevent or reduce permanent, irreversible heart damage. Consider ASA in both typical and atypical presentations of suspected cardiac ischemia.

EMS’ Role:

When treating suspected cardiac ischemia, it is crucial to administer ASA. ASA (160 – 162 mg PO) should be administered regardless of whether they received ASA before EMS arrival. This applies to ASA administered by family, nurses, doctors, or other healthcare professionals as long as the total amount of ASA does not exceed 1500mg.