Serious health problems can happen at any time. Do you know what to do when you’re alone and have a heart attack?
First, we need to talk about what you shouldn’t do.
You may have read advice circulating on the internet that deeply coughing during a heart attack will help you survive until an ambulance arrives. THIS IS NOT ADVISED. It is a real medical practice called cough CPR, but it’s only useful during complete cardiac arrest, not necessarily a heart attack. In fact, using this technique during a heart attack can make things considerably worse and cause you to die before help arrives.
Cough CPR works by raising pressure in the chest enough to maintain circulation of blood containing oxygen. It helps the brain maintain consciousness in periods of great distress. In some cases it can be the right thing to do, but do not take it upon yourself to determine whether or not it’s the right thing to do. The best thing you can do if you’re having a heart attack while alone is stay calm and call 911 IMMEDIATELY.
If you’re having a heart attack, you can also take a couple Aspirin as an emergency solution. It’ll thin your blood and help it circulate. Be sure to chew the aspirin before you swallow though. It helps it hit your system faster.
Just know that aspirin and staying calm can and will save your life, and coughing is likely to kill you.