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Half of all heart attack patients may not be receiving a recommended, potentially life-saving dose of aspirin on their way to the hospital. Using emergency medical services (EMS) information collected nationwide, University of Chicago Medicine researchers focused on ambulance runs involving people age 40 or older who were being monitored for suspected heart attacks. Paramedics had recorded giving aspirin to only 45.4 percent of these patients.
Early use of aspirin by patients suspected of having a heart attack is known to lower the risk of death and is widely recommended. “It is important that aspirin be administered quickly by EMS if the patient has not already taken it,” said emergency medicine physician Katie Tataris, MD, was the lead author of the study published in Emergency Medicine Journal.