Does coughing repeatedly and vigorously help heart attack victims?
Q: I got a mail regarding heart attack which says that heart attack victims, if alone, 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. Is it true or a hoax because on the net it says that this is all false and might cause damage instead of helping? Please let me know how much of this is true?
A:A patient with a real heart attack should seek medical attention at the earliest. In the mean time he/she should chew a tablet of Aspirin. This simple and a very scientific measure reduces mortality by 23%. Trying to do the gimmicks mentioned by you from the forwarded message has, if at all, a serious detrimental effect. Time is muscle and going to a centre where the blocked artery which is responsible for the attack opened is the most logical way of minimising the insult. This can be achieved by intravenous injection or angioplasty. Earlier you get it, the better it is.