Il Diario di Tinton

{2012-11-19}   Cough CPR or Self CPR.
Shrinky-dink: Myocardial infarction

Shrinky-dink: Myocardial infarction (Photo credit: St. Murse)

There have been email circulating around claiming that cough can save your life while having a heart attack. See

While the statement is not completely false, it is interesting. I mean, those who say it is not receommended to use cough CPR w/o doctor supervision, don’t really state what the risks of doing it are: OK, so if it won’t save you most of the time, does it hurt? If it doesn’t, might as well, try, right?

Actually, i did just find another opinion: Josebelo Chong wrote this on his blog:

[…] But conversely, it might WORSEN the stroke if it were from a bleeding vessel and you coughed too hard, leading to increased intracranial pressure and rupturing your vessels further.

Most importantly, if one developed an actual HEART ATTACK (with the crushing chest pain, shortness of breath, and cold sweats), no amount of coughing would help the heart.  It might even make the heart attack WORSE.  In truth, in most of these cases we don’t even shock the heart, or attempt to force it to pump more blood through CPR or other esoteric maneuvers; what we do is put the patient on oxygen, try to get him to lie still in bed, and give him drugs to slow the heart beat in an attempt to make the heart REST.  Any additional stress at that point (anxiety, overexertion, an overly fast heart rate, coughing excessively) could only lead to more heart damage.  How did Dr. Petelenz’s patients live through their heart attacks?  Chances are that they didn’t really have heart attacks and could have had just a variety of symptoms ranging from anxiety to just plain fatigue.[…]

So, i guess what i will do in these cases, is try to caugh a little and see how it goes… 😉


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