For over a decade, good-intentioned netizens have circulated stories that promote coughing while alone and suffering symptoms of a heart attack. While this sort of “self-CPR” seems like it makes sense, is there any truth to it?
It is a hoax.
In fact, the American Heart Association issued a statement about this fake procedure, known as “cough CPR” in which they state:
The American Heart Association does not endorse “cough CPR,” a coughing procedure widely publicized on the Internet.
Let’s look at one of the more recent incarnations of this shared story. This one was spotted on Facebook on 7/30/2012.
HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE
Let’s say it’s 6.15pm and you’re going home (alone of course),
after an unusually hard day on the job. You’re really tired, upset and frustrated. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself..!!
NOW HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE..
Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.
However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously.
A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.
A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.
Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating.
The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.
Rather than sharing jokes please.. contribute by Sharing this which can save a person’s life!!!!
In their Warning Signs of a Heart Attack article, the American Heart Association recommends calling 911 and getting medical treatment. It is also recommended to take 160-325 mg of aspirin upon onset of heart attack symptoms – after calling 911. A Harvard Health article from 2005 found that chewing an aspirin will allow it to work faster than swallowing.
The Mayo Clinic’s recommendations for heart attack symptoms:
- Call 911 – Get medical help
- Take nitroglycerin, if prescribed
- Take aspirin, if recommended
Nowhere is coughing mentioned.
For your info, here are Heart Attack Symptoms, as presented by the Mayo Clinic
- Pressure, a feeling of fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
- Pain extending beyond your chest to your shoulder, arm, back, or even to your teeth and jaw
- Increasing episodes of chest pain
- Prolonged pain in the upper abdomen
- Shortness of breath
- Impending sense of doom
- Nausea and vomiting
Additional, or different, heart attack signs and symptoms in women may include:
- Heartburn or abdominal pain
- Clammy skin
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Unusual or unexplained fatigue
An older version of the “cough CPR” story reads as follows:
HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE
Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, this article seemed in order. Without help the person whose heart stops beating properly and who begins to feel Faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating.
This “technique” is not promoted by any major heart or medical entity and could do more harm than good. If you think you are having a heart attack, get medical attention immediately, and consider chewing an aspirin while you wait for their arrival, or while someone drives you to the hospital.
Filed under: Hoaxes & Rumors