News about cough CPR being effective as a resuscitation technique began spreading as early as 1999. This made everyone curious to know how it works. The facts that heart attack is one of the most common causes of death all over the world and that cough CPR promises to help save people from a possible heart attack without the help of others makes it quite an interesting procedure.
But what do experts have to say about this?
Is it possible that someone can actually cough away a heart attack?
Cough CPR can be helpful to anyone who is seeing the symptoms of heart attack, especially when he or she is alone. The symptoms include numbness or pain around the arms, back, jaw, or neck, accompanied with lightheadedness or nausea. Chest pain is also the most common symptom. It has been said that a patient has ten seconds to do something before a heart attack worsens.
Of course, considering the fact that most heart attacks happen when a person is alone, it does seem to be a logical idea to spread information on what to do in case there is nobody around to help them. Calling 911 can also be extremely hard if the person has already started to faint and is losing consciousness. And of course, CPR training does not include guidelines on how to do it to yourself, and regular CPR is not exactly something that you can apply on yourself if you’re already on the verge of fainting. However, cough CPR can be helpful in this situation.
Cough CPR is done by coughing vigorously, and in a rhythmical manner. Each cough should be prolonged and very deep. For this to be achieved, a very deep breath should also be taken to force the cough out. The cycle of each deep breath and cough should be carried out every two seconds until any help arrives. If the patient feels that his heart has begun to beat normally again, the cough CPR process should be stopped.
So, what connection does coughing have with a heart attack? Basically, a deep breath is not just something that helps the patient make the cough deeper, but also lets in a stream of fresh oxygen into the lungs. This helps especially if the patient starts having difficulty in breathing. The coughing movement also squeezes the heart, which immediately triggers blood circulation. This also means that the heart could eventually regain its normal rhythm, making it easier for a person suffering from a heart attack to reach the phone and call for help more effectively.
But Is It Effective?
As far as the American Heart Association is concerned, they do not endorse cough CPR. Here are some of the reasons:
- It is not at all useful in a pre-hospital setting. CPR courses always emphasize that one of the major signs of an emergency is the patient’s unresponsiveness, so there is no way for the patient to perform cough CPR.
- It is helpful in cases of arrhythmia, but this case is very different from a heart attack. When this is done to those who have a sudden bout of arrhythmia, a nurse or a doctor should be present so that they can give precise instructions on how and when to cough.
- The condition that the patient is suffering from could be something entirely different, which is something that the patient will not be able to decide on especially if he is already experiencing pain. Cough CPR could be harmful instead of helpful in other medical conditions.
- The thought of implementing a cough CPR could give people a false sense of security in case of an emergency. This could delay any necessary emergency procedure, which could make the situation even worse.
Seeing the possible dangerous situations that a cough CPR can bring, it has become even more necessary to disseminate proper information about heart conditions, as well as the role that CPR plays in emergency situations. The fact that a lot of misinformation about cough CPR has been spread online makes it dangerous, especially for those gullible enough to believe it without proper research.
So, what’s the best way for anyone to help themselves in case of a possible heart attack?
- Be knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms that come with a heart attack. If one is able to detect the signs early on, it would still be possible for them to call for help and get the right kind of treatment the fastest way possible.
- Have the proper tools that would help connect a patient to medical units in case of an emergency. There is always an option to key in the emergency number on a phone’s speed dial, or download mobile apps that allow the user to become connected to a medical unit at the click of a button.
- Always schedule regular checkups with the doctor. This could ensure that any early signs of possible heart conditions are diagnosed and treated, and could prevent any emergency situation from happening.
Any life can be saved with proper knowledge. As far as cough CPR is concerned, consult a doctor and find out more about it. Do not believe everything that you read online. And most importantly, keep yourself healthy to make sure that there are less chances of you experiencing a heart attack.