Heart attacks and how they can be treated – and it’s not ‘cough CPR!’

by | June 2, 2018 | Blog | 0 comments

The rumour of ‘Cough CPR’ to treat a heart attack has been spread around the internet for several years now – and we’ve now noticed that it is also in Vietnamese. The bottom line is there is no medical evidence that this works – we want to set the facts straight on heart attacks to save lives.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack happens when there is a sudden loss of blood flow to a part of your heart muscle. This can lead to cardiac arrest – where your heart stops pumping blood around your body.

How can you recognise a heart attack?

Heart attack symptoms vary from one person to another. The most common signs of a heart attack are:

  • chest pain: tightness, heaviness, pain or a burning feeling in your chest
  • pain in arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach: for some people, the pain or tightness is severe, while other people just feel uncomfortable
  • sweating
  • feeling light-headed
  • become short of breath
  • feeling nauseous or vomiting.

How can you help?

A heart attack is life-threatening. Urgent medical help is needed. Do not delay – call for an ambulance immediately.

Does ‘Cough CPR’ work?

‘Cough CPR’ has been spread around the internet for a number of years now, and we have recently noticed it in Vietnamese. There is no medical evidence to support ‘Cough CPR’, which suggests you can help yourself by coughing vigorously if you are having a heart attack and are alone.

The British Heart Foundation say “A heart attack is when the blood supply to your heart muscle is interrupted; this is most commonly due to a blood clot.

A heart attack can lead to a cardiac arrest, when your heart stops pumping blood around your body. You would become unconscious, and without immediate CPR (chest compressions and rescue breaths), you would die.”

So what can I do?

  1. Learn how to recognise a heart attack, and call for medical help immediately.
  2. Learn CPR and first aid – CPR buys time by keeping oxygenated blood flowing to the vital organs. Make sure you learn from a provider that follows the latest international, evidence based guidelines.
  3. Educate – do not spread misinformation! Many people sharing the ‘cough CPR’ story are no doubt doing it to try and help – but misinformation in life-threatening situations can costs lives. Make sure you know what you are spreading is correct.

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