How can I help someone having a heart attack by giving them aspirin?

American Red Cross
  • Always call for help as soon as you recognize the signals of a heart attack. Then help the person to be comfortable before you give the aspirin. 
  • Offer aspirin after calling for emergency help if the patient is conscious, can swallow and has no known contraindications. 
  • Offer two chewable baby aspirins (81 mg each), or one 5-grain adult aspirin tablet (325 mg) with a small amount of water. 
  • Be sure that the person has not been told by his or her health-care provider to avoid taking aspirin.
  • Do not use coated aspirin products or products meant for multiple uses such as for cold, fever and headache. You also may offer these doses of aspirin if the person regains consciousness while you are giving care and is able to take the aspirin by mouth. 
  • Be sure that you offer only aspirin and not Tylenol®, acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, Motrin®, Advil®, naproxen or Aleve®.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.