Mayo Clinic Cardiologist Suggestions for Treating and Preventing Heart Attacks-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a forwarded email that contains an article said to be by Mayo Clinic Cardiologist Dr. Virend Somers with information about heart attacks and suggests taking aspirin at night as a preventative measure. The article goes on to suggest that if you are having a heart attack, take two aspirins and do not lie down.

The Truth:

The Mayo Clinic posted a statement on their website saying, “Neither Dr. Somers nor Mayo Clinic contributed to this email, which contains some information that is inaccurate and potentially harmful.” Click for statement.

Lee Aase, Manager of Syndication and Social Media for the Mayo Clinic offered further explanation as to the inaccuracies in the eRumor.  Aase wrote, “Aspirin is indeed appropriate for a heart attack but as with any medication, treatment needs to be individualized for each patient. There is no evidence to support potentially harmful recommendations such as not to lie down if you are having a heart attack.”

Aase also said that the Mayo Clinic does not recommend obtaining medical advice from forwarded emails and suggested primary care physicians be contacted for proper treatment.

updated 05/08/10

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Subject: From the Mayo Clinic – Aspirin – not a joke

Dr. Virend Somers, a cardiologist from the Mayo Clinic who is lead author of the report in the July 29, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Most heart attacks occur in the day, generally between 6 A.M. and noon, Somers said. Having one during the night, when the heart should be most at rest, means that something unusual happened. Somers and his colleagues have been working for a decade to show that sleep apnea is to blame.

1. If you take an aspirin or a baby aspirin once a day, take it at night. The reason: aspirin has a 24-hour “half-life”. therefore, if most heart attacks happen in the wee hours of the morning, the aspirin would be strongest in your system.

2. FYI, aspirin lasts a really long time in your medicine chest for years. (when it gets old, it smells like vinegar.) please read on.

Something that we can do to help ourselves – nice to know.

Bayer is making crystal aspirin to dissolve instantly on the tongue. They work much faster than the tablets.

Why keep aspirin by your bedside?

About Heart Attacks

There are other symptoms of an heart attack besides the pain on the left arm. One must also be aware of an intense pain on the chin, as well as nausea and lots of sweating, however these symptoms may also occur less frequently. Note: There may be NO pain in the chest during a heart attack. The majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during their sleep, did not wake up. However, if it occurs, the chest pain may wake you up from your deep sleep.

If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in your mouth and swallow them with a bit of water. Afterwards: -call 911 – phone a neighbor or a family member who lives very close by -say “heart attack!” -say that you have taken 2 aspirins. – take a seat on a chair or sofa near the front door, and wait for their arrival and… ~do NOT lie down~

A Cardiologist has stated that, if each person, after receiving this e-mail, sends it to 10 people, probably one life can be saved!

I have already shared the information- – What about you?

Do forward this message; it may save lives!