Frequently Asked Questions
SMHeartCard is designed for three groups of patients: 1) patients with known coronary artery disease (they have had a heart attack or angina), 2) people with risk factors for coronary artery disease, and 3) first aid / first responders who may need to treat someone having a heart attack.
Many Canadians have at least one risk factor for coronary artery disease: high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, smoking history, sedentary lifestyle, age > 50, obesity, or a family history of heart disease.
SMHeartCard has been tested and Nitroglycerin pills are stable for 6 months at body temperature and in real world testing while carried in a wallet, pocket, or purse. You should replace with three fresh NitroStat 0.3mg pills every 6 months. ASA 81mg is more stable but should be replaced every year. The expiry date for the NitroStat is circled on the back of the card.
So far, our very first SMHeartCards have been used for more than 18 months and they show no signs of wearing out. If your patient comes in with a visibly damaged or worn SMHeartCard, or if it does not seal tightly, replace the SMHeartCard.
We have an easy to use Cardiovascular Risk Assessment calculator based on the Alberta Health Services algorithm. Click here.
SMHeartCard lets you carry two emergency cardiac medications with you at all time. Taking ASA and Nitroglycerin at the start of heart attack makes it less severe and can save your life.
The most common heart attack symptoms are: Chest discomfort (pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness) Sweating. Upper body discomfort (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back). Nausea. Shortness of breath. Light-headedness.
Follow the instructions on the back of the SMHeartCard. Put the SMHeartCard on a flat surface. Take the four ASA pills and chew and swallow them. Take the the first NitroStat pill and put it under your tongue. If the symptoms continue for another 5 minutes, take the second NitroStat pill and call 911. If the symptoms continue for another 5 minutes more, take the last NitroStat pill. If the symptoms resolve go see your medical doctor as soon as possible for followup.