Let's say it is 6:15 p.m. and you're driving home (alone of course), after an usually hard day on the job. You are 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 do not know if you will be able to make it that far.
You've been trained in CPR but the guy that taught the course didn't tell you what to do if it happened to yourself.
What can you do?
What are you to do if you have a heart attack while you are alone. The response is called Cough CPR. A cardiologist says it is the truth and it could save your life!
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.
From Health Cares, Rochester General Hospital via Chapter 240s newsletter 'AND THE BEAT GOES ON' (reprint from The Mended Hearts, Inc. Publication, Heart Response)