There are several posts doing the rounds on social media on how to survive a heart attack when alone, detailing a technique called ‘cough CPR’, they state that by coughing vigorously during a heart attack you increase your chances of survival; There is no medical evidence to suggest that this technique will work and if you are having a heart attack, the increased strain of coughing could put more pressure on your cardiac and circulatory system, increasing your chance of suffering a cardiac arrest.
One of the main issues is that many people confuse the terms Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest. A heart attack can lead to a cardiac arrest, but Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is only required on a casualty suffering a cardiac arrest. Once in cardiac arrest the casualty becomes unconscious, so they would not be able to cough, at that stage they can’t even breathe.
If you suspect that you or someone else is having a heart attack your immediate priority is to call 999 (or 112 throughout the European Union) and make the casualty as comfortable as possible and monitor them for signs of cardiac arrest.
If you would like to learn how to deal with a casualty having a cardiac arrest, then we have the perfect first aid training course for you, please contact us for details.