A MUST have for me on any hunt, and is always with me.

PNWdude67

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
186
Location
Ridgefield WA
Two years ago I believed I was a fit 53 year old dude, active and aware of avoiding certain “lifestyle” indulgences that “increase risk” for cardiovascular “events”. My physicals were all good and I was never prescribed a medication for blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes. The last thing on my mind was being acutely prepared in the event I experienced a heart attack. By that I mean, I worked out, avoided tobacco, ate healthy food and did not do any drugs so why would I need to have some simple items in my pack that if used during the early phase of a heart attack, could save my life and preserve heart muscle. I knew what a heart attack was and had a little bit of training in dealing with them so there really was no excuse other than I never thought it could happen to me. Wrong! Fortunately, when my heat attack presented I was not 6 miles into the wilderness on a back pack hunt, or 5 miles off shore fishing. I was .5 miles from an ER working out in the gym at 10 AM. When the tell tale symptoms started I was able to get to the ER and receive life saving treatment that cleared the proximal blood clot in my left anterior descending artery before it damaged my heart. Then, after a look at what was going on in the cath lab I was faced with the reality my coronary arteries had been building up to this moment for some time and underwent triple bypass surgery. So what should I have had with me and do carry with me now, besides the standard first aid and emergency contact devices I have had?? A botttle of Chewable baby aspirin and some nitroglycerin. Why chewable baby aspirin? In a pinch chewing up any aspirin would have the same effect but baby aspirin has flavoring that cuts the edge of the very sour and bitter taste. When experience chest pain and symptoms nausea often is part of the bodies reaction so baby aspirin is ideal. Chewing it releases the active molecules into the blood faster and they will help move blood through the blocked artery in your heart and keep downstream muscle alive!! Without blood for an extended period of time muscle cells die. In the heart this is called myocardial infarction MI. We want to get blood moving down stream past the blocked artery. Nitro helps because it almost immediately opens the arterial passage (vasodilation) giving more room for blood to flow! An acute heart attack happens when some of the arterial build up we have as we age breaks free and our body automatically recognizes this as an injured tissue and activates the clotting cascade. It’s the clot that forms rapidly inside the artery that blocks the blood and creates the symptoms of a heart attack. It also is what can kill heart muscle if not dealt with rapidly or kill you. What to do? Study the symptoms and listen to stories from your friends who have experienced this and survived to tell about it. Mine symptoms were very mild and not remarkable, but I knew they felt different and realized they were similar to the classic symptom of a heart attack, so I acted immediately.🙏🏻 My clot was very proximal (far up stream) in the artery, it has an infamous name… “widow maker”. Had I experienced this a few weeks later on a hunt last fall I most likely would be a memory and not typing this post right now. No matter how healthy you are, male or female, mid 30’s or 60’s we need to be aware this can happen at any moment as we all develop some form of arterial plaques that can potentially rupture and cause a heart attack. Risk factors just make it statistically more likely and it’s never impossible. Have some baby aspirin handy, know the symptoms of an acute event and listen to the stories from survivors like me. Stories and knowledge, that was all I had when it happened to me. That and the dumb luck of it happening in such close proximity to a hospital. So, that’s my story, and if you have one please share it whenever possible because it just may save someone’s life. Good hunting and safe adventures!
 

mongo4567

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
121
Location
Pflugerville, TX
This is a very good reminder. As a prior combat medic my pack has things like benadryl, aspirin, a trauma bandage, and an epi pen. The benadryl alone has saved many friends hunts.

When I was very young, I was on an offshore party boat and a guy went down with a heart attack/stroke; I just saw him pass out and never regain consciousness. His friends kept insisting that he was fine all the way back to port.
 

PNWdude67

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
186
Location
Ridgefield WA
Did you have Nitro?
Was it by prescription or by other source that you obtained it?
I do now. When I had the heart attack I “walked into the ER” as I was very close and new something was up. So, part of their protocol for a STEMI in process was to “chew up some baby aspirin” 4= 320 mg and nitro sublingual spray as needed along with the Heparin IV and other stuff we can’t really carry in the field. I have a nitro prescription filled now as a back up to have in the field. I don’t think it’s available over the counter. The Nitro really seemed to work immediately for me when I felt the pain which was coming on (feeling like a cramp in my heart). It would “relax” and I felt better. Most of us won’t go through what I did, but if you do, having some baby aspirin may buy you enough time to get EMR response and further treatment. Just something I feel we all can have handy just in case, as well as the other key stuff in our first aid kits. I thought about all the hunts, fishing and hiking I was doing without it handy over the past few years and this could have happened at any of those times where help was not available right away.
 

PNWdude67

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
186
Location
Ridgefield WA
This is a very good reminder. As a prior combat medic my pack has things like benadryl, aspirin, a trauma bandage, and an epi pen. The benadryl alone has saved many friends hunts.

When I was very young, I was on an offshore party boat and a guy went down with a heart attack/stroke; I just saw him pass out and never regain consciousness. His friends kept insisting that he was fine all the way back to port.
Yeah, it can happen fast. I felt really good and was working out on a treadmill when I first felt something. When I eventually felt my right arm have pain like I threw a baseball from center field without warning up I knew it was a heart attack. I subsided and I was in the ER 2 minutes later after driving a couple blocks. It took them longer to realize I was serious and get me back than it did to drive there. As soon as the nurse saw my EKG STEMI she gasped, hit the button saying “I don’t like the way this looks at all, just breath things are going to start happening very fast!!!” I just smiled and gave her a thumbs up relieved they were finally taking action. They did a great job other than the initial delay when I walked in which was probably 4-5 minutes but felt like 20 lol
 

AZHTR

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
128
Location
Arizona
Great advice and I’m certainly happy for your outcome👍

My nephew is a firefighter and they are required to complete an annual physical. BUT the annual physical does NOT test for LAD (widow maker) blockage or the other two arteries that feed the heart.

Two of his captains (50 & 58 years old) both passed the annual physical but had heart attacks about 4-6 months after their physical. One had a blockage of 60% and the other was 72% blocked.

So NOW it’s required to test via a “Calcium Score” (scale of 1 to 30) which actually measures the potential blockage. Very EASY scan test that most doctors DON’T do unless you request it.

I went to “Heart Fit for Responders” (Medical Facility) and paid out of pocket for my Calcium Score test and you can too. It was around ~$125 buck or so, but well worth it knowing I had a very low score.
 

T3ninja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
765
Location
NW indiana
So, I’m curious those of us using nitroglycerin or double based rifle powders..... I wonder if it’d do more harm than good to put a bit of good ole gunpowder under the tongue along with the aspirin? I always carry a big pile of pills from aspirin and allergy meds to anti diarrhea and sleeping pills.
 

Old rooster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
687
Location
Montana
ER'S get so many people that think they are having a heart attack and they are not that it makes them complacent to the real deal!
I was recently diagnosed with A-Fib and was told to carry Bayer Aspirin with me,I should ask my doctor if baby aspirin or full grown aspirin.
Scary stuff bro,glad the outcome was positive.
 

nwmnbowhunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
272
ER'S get so many people that think they are having a heart attack and they are not that it makes them complacent to the real deal!
I was recently diagnosed with A-Fib and was told to carry Bayer Aspirin with me,I should ask my doctor if baby aspirin or full grown aspirin.
Scary stuff bro,glad the outcome was positive.
Baby aspirin is same as 81mg bayer. They both will work the same as 325 aspirin, but do ask him.

And you should be on aspirin daily just to clarify.... not carry it with you.
 

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