How to survive a “heart attack while alone”

By surgical nurse and certified CPR teacher

Let’s say it’s 7.25pm and you’re going home (alone of course) 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 drag out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five km from the hospital nearest your home.

 Unfortunately, you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far.

 You have been trained in CPR, but the guy who taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.


Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint has 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!!

 A cardiologist suggests that if everyone who reads this kindly shares it with 10 other people, you bet we’ll save at least one life.

Stay healthy!

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