Rosie O'Donnell's recent heart attack scare not only served as a giant wake up call for the 50-year-old, but also a warning to all women at risk for myocardial infarction. 


The comedian suffered symptoms consistent with a heart attack after helping a woman from her car last week. 


"a few hours later my body hurt," she wrote on her blog. "i had an ache in my chest. both my arms were sore. everything felt bruised."


She added: "i became nauseous. my skin was clammy. i was very very hot. i threw up."


After blogging her symptoms, she noticed that many of them were conducive to a heart attack - something she wrote off initially, but took a Bayer aspirin nevertheless as a precautionary measure. 


Turns out she was right. After consulting the next day with a physician, she discovered that her left anterior descending artery was 99 percent blocked (what is notoriously nicknamed a "Widow Maker" heart attack). She had a stent put in to open up the blocked artery.


Noting her decision to take the aspirin, O'Donnell wrote "literally saved by a commercial." 


Aspirin works as a blood thinner, helping to stop clots from forming in blocked arteries that can lead to massive heart attacks. It's one of the first things emergency responders will often give patients suspected of suffering a MI. According to Frank Alvino, president and chief operating officer of Advent Consumer Healthcare, chewing aspirin is the best way to put it into action because that provides "rapid uptake, meaning that the aspirin is ingested into the system faster."


As for O'Donnell, she counts herself very lucky and urges women to know the symptoms and listen to the voice inside their heads. Oh - and without a doubt, call 911. 


Also on MNN: Barbra Streisand raises $22M to fight heart disease

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