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Heartbeat Heartbeat COULD THIS SAVE YOUR LIFE?



Some people believe that the information
in this article could truly save your life!
We used to be two of them. We thought that
everyone should read it, so we wanted to
put it on a web page, like this.


Below is the article that is being widely circulated among friends and family members in e-mail. Some of the information in this article could actually cause harm. Read this only to familiarize yourself with the e-mail that is being passed around. Then, continue reading the actual information from The Mended Hearts, Inc. Being correctly informed is what could really save your life. You may get more information on Heart Attack from The Mended Hearts, Inc. web site by clicking HERE.

Here is the actual MISINFORMATION from an e-mail that was sent to us:

Heart Attack Instructions - Performing CPR on yourself
HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK ALONE

If everyone who sees this sends it to 10 people, you
can bet that we'll save at least one life.

Let's say it's 6:15 p.m. and you're driving 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 radiate 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. What can
you do? You've been trained in CPR but the guy that
taught the course neglected to tell you how to perform
it on yourself. Since many people are alone when they
suffer a heart attack, this article seemed to be 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. The cough must be deep and
prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside
the chest. And a cough must be repeated about every 2
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 240's newsletter AND THE BEAT GOES ON ...
(reprint from The Mended Hearts, Inc. publication, Heart Response)


Since this purportedly came from an article in
The Mended Hearts, Inc. publication, Heart Response,
we thought that it might be copyrighted. We wrote to
The Mended Hearts, Inc. for permission to use the article.
Here is the response that we received:

Cough CPR
AHA does not endorse “cough CPR,” a coughing procedure widely publicized on the Internet. As noted in the AHA’s textbook Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, AHA DOES NOT TEACH THIS AS PART OF THE CORE CURRICULUM IN ANY COURSE.

During a sudden arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), it may be possible for a conscious, responsive person to cough forcefully and maintain enough blood flow to the brain to remain conscious for a few seconds until the arrhythmia disappears or is treated. Blood flow is maintained by increased pressure in the chest that occurs during forceful coughs. This has been mislabeled “cough CPR,” although it’s not a form of traditional resuscitation. Why isn’t “cough CPR” appropriate in CPR training courses? - “Cough CPR” should not be routinely taught in lay-rescuer CPR courses, because it would complicate the teaching of traditional CPR. It would add information that is not generally useful in the prehospital setting. In virtually all lay-rescuer CPR courses, the finding that signals an emergency is the victim’s unresponsiveness. This signals the rescuer to begin the “A,B,C’s” of CPR. Unresponsive victims will not be able to perform “cough CPR.” Are there situations when “cough CPR” is appropriate? - this coughing technique to maintain blood flow during brief arrhythmias has been useful in the hospital, particularly during cardiac catheterization. In such cases the patient’s ECG is monitored continuously, and a physician is present.

During cardiac catheterization, patients may develop sudden arrhythmias. If a life-threatening arrhythmia is detected within the first 10 to 15 seconds and before the patient loses consciousness, a physician or nurse may instruct the patient to cough. Repeated, forceful coughing can help the person remain conscious until the arrhythmia disappears or is treated. Therefore, the usefulness of “cough CPR” is generally limited to the monitored patient with witnessed arrest in the hospital setting.

AHA Recommendation - the best strategy is to be aware of the early warning signs for heart attack and cardiac arrest and respond to them by calling 9-1-1. If you’re driving alone and you start having severe chest pain or discomfort that starts to spread into your arm and up into your jaw (the scenario presented in the Internet article), you should pull over and flag down another motorist for help or phone 9-1-1 on a cellular telephone.

For more information, please go to our web site at www.mendedhearts.org --> Education Resources --> Learn More About Heart Disease --> Does Coughing Prevent Heart Attacks?

Heartfully,

Cathy Clapp

The Mended Hearts, Inc.

National Office

7272 Greenville Avenue

Dallas, Texas 75231

toll-free: (888) 432-7899

phone: (214) 706-1442

fax: (214) 706-5245

Dedicated to inspiring hope in heart disease patients and their families.




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Created on August 10, 2002
Last Updated August 10, 2002