“How to Survive a Heart Attack When Alone” is in the subject line of an email making the rounds. That email recommends those alone and fear they are having a heart attack should cough repeatedly until help arrives.
University of Nebraska Medical Center – Nebraska Medicine cardiologist Dr. Shikar Saxena says, “It is absolutely ludicrous to say somebody who is alone and having a heart attack can cough and essentially save their life. You only have about 10 seconds, if you truly have arrhythmia, before you are going to pass out from it.”
Dr. Saxena says you are much better off using that valuable time to call 911 for help. He says patients seen in hospitals suffering from arrhythmia or cardiac arrest are told to cough but very rarely helps. He says that is likely where this theory came from.