What to do in the first 10 seconds of a heart attack to save your life
A myocardial infraction or also known as heart attack usually happens without even a warning and it may also result to a cardiac arrest. A lot of people are not aware of what are the things that they need to when they unexpectedly suffer from a heart attack. Cough-CPR has been claimed as a lifesaving technique, where you will energetically cough repeatedly in order to keep the blood flowing. C-CPR is actually a kind of method that has witnessed combined reactions even from experts.
It all started with an email of doing the rounds on the internet which claims that a person who is suffering the symptoms of heart attack should repetitively cough very strongly, repeating a breath around every two seconds until the help finally arrives. A heart attack happens when the blood supply to the heart muscle is being interrupted, most usually due to blood clot.
On the other hand, some experts have recommended that this coughing method is a hoax and will not be able to aid in preventing a heart attack, while others say that it can possibly save your life. Here is the low-down on the facts and scientific data about this kind of technique.
What is Cough-CPR or C-CPR?
The coughing method or also known as Cough-CPR or cough-cardiopulmonary resuscitation is used in hospital by most of physicians in order to treat unexpected irregular heartbeats in monitored patients during cardiac catheterization procedures.
A responsive heart patient, who develops an unexpected irregular heartbeat can actually maintain the flow of the blood to the brain and remain conscious for several seconds by coughing strongly and forcefully while being directed by a physician. According to the American Heart Association, traditional CPR is not actually used in order to treat heart attack victims who remain conscious, but only if the heart attack is followed by a cardiac arrest.
During an unexpected arrhythmia or also called as abnormal heart rhythm, a conscious and responsive patient can actually make sure sufficient flow of the blood to the brain and remain awake for several seconds until the arrhythmia is treated by the help of coughing forcefully and repetitively. Strong coughs have the ability to aid in elevating the pressure in the chest, as well as to keep the flow of the blood. Nevertheless, this kind of method has been incorrectly labeled as Cough-CPR and it is not a type of traditional CPR.
What Studies Say?
A lot of studies have been already conducted with the use of Cough-CPR method in order to evaluate the effectiveness of this kind of technique. According to one of its studies, a deep and rhythmic forceful cough, which is repeated for at least 30 to 60 times per minute, can be an effective resuscitative method during unexpected emergencies.
This study has provided evidence on the effectiveness of Cough-CPR in order to maintain a sufficient systematic arterial blood pressure, as well as consciousness during malignant ventricular arrhythmias. It has concluded that Cough-CPR is very beneficial in maintaining the stability of the patient while definitive therapy for the malignant ventricular arrhythmia is being administered.
In another study, a patient with an acute anterior myocardial infarction (MI) or also known as heart attack, and ventricular fibrillation was resuscitated after Cough-CPR has been administered in the emergency department. This study has demonstrated that Cough-CPR in witnessed with dysrhythmias can actually soothe this issue and it can also lessen the morbidity of resuscitations.
However, Several Experts Think Otherwise
Some experts are really different in their own opinions. According to some experts at the British Heart Foundation, this kind of technique is a hoax. A heart attack can actually result to a cardiac arrest when the heart stops pumping blood. This can actually make the person unconscious and without instant CPR or chest compressions and rescue breaths, they will eventually die. However, if the person is still awake, then they do not have a cardiac arrest, in which case a CPR is not actually required. Nevertheless, urgent medical assistance is necessary.
But then again, Tadeusz K. Petelenz, a Polish cardiologist, is campaigning about the effectiveness of this method in order to convince other heart specialists. He has said that C-CPR can actually maintain the heart working until medical assistance arrives. The mechanical action of a cough works as a DIY CPR that has the ability to give the necessary thumps to the chest, which stimulates electrical activity in the heart and keep it beating.
Things to do before Medical Assistance arrive:
Some immediate things that you have to do is to call 911, it can really aid in saving the life of a person. Here are the things that you need to do, as well:
- Calm the person down and make them sit or lie down.
- Loosen any tight clothing.
- If the person is not actually allergic to aspirin, make them chew and swallow a baby aspirin. Chewing it is more effective and it functions a lot quicker than swallowing whole.
- If the person already stops breathing, you or a qualified person should perform CPR, as soon as possible. If you do not know how to do so, the 911 operator can actually assist you until the medical assistance arrive.