What We can Learn from Alan Thicke’s Heart Attack

Two days ago, many fans of 1980s television were stunned to learn that the father from “Growing Pains,”Alan Thicke had suffered a massive heart attack and died while he was playing ice hockey with his son, Carter. There are many reports that say Thicke was in perfect health, or so he seemed. Television’s most popular doctor, Dr. Oz decided to shed some light on that tragedy and give us some advice on what to do in a similar situation. Dr. Oz thinks that the freezing temperatures of the ice rink could have contributed to the heart attack. Dr. Oz recommends that anyone who seems to think he is having a heart attack should first call 911 to go to the hospital, lie down, and chew on an adult aspirin. Being in a reclining position can help the body absorb the aspirin that will thin out the blood.

 

Dr. Oz says that heart attacks happen more frequently in the winter than any other time of the year because of the cold weather and the more sedentary lifestyle. Cold weather can cause the blood vessels to contract and make it difficult for the blood and oxygen to get to the heart muscle. Doctors have made strides in learning how to prevent heart attacks, or at least decrease their fatality. Unfortunately, with Alan Thicke as an example, the medical profession still has more research to do.

 

Reports said that Thicke was responsive and seemed to be fine before he passed away. According to Dr. Oz, a person can be responsive if the vessel temporarily reopens, allowing some oxygen and blood to flow. Another scenario is, that while the person is resting, the heart can begin to tolerate the decrease in blood flow. When the blood vessels close, the patient may have to sit up a little to accommodate the blood vessels. This can cause pulmonary edema and an arrhythmia that can cause the blood cells’ energy to become unbalanced and then short out.

 

While there’s no age limit to when someone should give up winter sports, there are some other ways a person can prevent a heart attack. Make sure you get complete physicals every year. If you drink or smoke, stop it. Get plenty of rest.