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Home > City Resources > Health and Medicine > Surviving a Heart Attack when alone
 
Surviving a Heart Attack when alone  
Let'ssay it's 9.00 p.m. and you're driving home alone, after an unusually hard day on the job. You're really tired, upset and frustrated. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the nearest hospital. Unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far. You've been trained in CPR but the person who taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.

Many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, they have only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims 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. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.

Tell as many other people as possible about this, it could save their lives!
From: Health Cares, Rochester General Hospital
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