Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack and being prepared with aspirin can save your life, or the life of a fishing companion.
Last year, while wading in the middle of the Somass River, I had an experience that made me think about my vulnerability. A desperate angler ran upstream, shouting for help and asking if anyone had aspirin. Twenty feet from me, my buddy Randy was desperately searching through his vest for the small bottle of aspirin he always carries. Upon finding them, he ran quickly down the river to meet the grateful stranger. Sadly, by the time he returned to his companion, it had been more than 20 minutes, and there were no signs of life. And recently, one of my friends died of a heart attack while fishing with his friends.
While some heart attacks strike without warning, others show signs hours or days in advance. Call 911 immediately.
Time is your enemy, and you need to improve your survival chances. Be sure to always have aspirin with you, and take them at the first sign of heart attack. Chew them, rather than swallow, as that gets the aspirin into your bloodstream quicker. Your blood will thin out and flow better, helping to reduce heart damage.
According to Harvard Medical School, “People who think they may be having an attack need an extra 325 mg of aspirin, and they need it as quickly as possible. For the best results, chew a single full-sized 325-mg tablet, but don’t use an enteric-coated tablet, which will act slowly even if chewed”.
Signs of a Heart Attack
- You suddenly break out in a sweat
- You have shortness of breath, cold or clammy skin, and chest pain
- You are nauseated and feel sick in your stomach
- Your left or right side of your chest feels tight or uncomfortable
- You experience signs of extreme fatigue, dizziness, or the sense that you are about to collapse
- You may experience pain and/or stiffness in the arm, neck, back, or jaw
- Your face may lose colour
Does Aspirin Degrade or Expire?
All Aspirins bottles display an expiration date. Aspirin can be effective beyond its shelf life, only if stored properly. If exposed to oxygen, moisture, sunlight, and high temperatures, they can lose their effectiveness.
Save A Heart
As an avid angler exposed to many elements, I researched for easy methods to access and safe storage carrying Aspirin tablets. Most containers are made of plastic or glass and all have storage issues. After a lot of web searching, I found and ordered Save A Heart.
I like that it is a fob container for a keychain that is medical grade stainless steel, and water and oxygen tight. It’s easy to unscrew for access and can be exposed to all kinds of abuse that the outdoors sportsman is exposed to.
According to Save A Heart’s website, “ASA can help stop the blood clot causing the heart attack from becoming more severe.” As their site explains, “The idea behind the creation of the Save a Heart pill fob resulted from a beloved uncle having a heart attack. During work one day, he began experiencing what he felt were symptoms of a heart attack. Not feeling well at all, he decided to drive himself to the hospital emergency room. When he reached the hospital, he was immediately admitted but unfortunately before any treatment could begin, he tragically had a second, more severe heart attack and died.”
To me, this is now critical fishing gear. In fact, it’s with me always. I can’t image a more thoughtful gift for friends and others, as well.