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What To Do If You Have A Heart Attack While You’re Alone

April 2, 2015

My good friend Hector sent me this seemingly good advice about how to deal with a heart attack, though the American Heart Association does not endorse it.
I say a simple procedure like this can’t hurt because in an emergency, every little bit helps.

What do you do if you have a heart attack while you are alone? The Johnson City Medical Center staff actually discovered this and did an in-depth study on it in ICU. The two individuals who discovered this then did an article on it, had it published and incorporated it into ACLS and CPR classes.

It is called Cough CPR.

Let’s say its 6:15 p.m. and you’re driving home alone after an unusually hard day on the job. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. Although you are only about five miles from the hospital, you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far.

What can you do? You’ve been trained in CPR but the guy who taught the course didn’t tell you what to do if it happened to yourself. Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, this article could be a lifesaver. 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! 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.

Tell as many other people as possible about this, it could save their lives!
From Health Cares, Rochester General Hospital via Chapter 240s newsletter, “AND THE BEAT GOES ON” (reprint from The Mended Hearts, Inc. Publication, Heart Response)

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