“Cough CPR; True or False?”

“Cough CPR”

True or False?

I could have saved you 45 seconds.

Analysis

According to the best information I could find, “cough CPR” is a real procedure occasionally used in emergency situations under medical supervision.

Cough CPR raises the pressure in the chest just enough to maintain some circulation of oxygen-containing blood and help enough get to the brain to maintain consciousness for a prolonged period. But, cough CPR should be used only by a person about to lose consciousness, which is an indication of cardiac arrest. However, the procedure is not effective in all patients. The procedure can be dangerous for someone having a heart attack that does not result in cardiac arrest. Even when someone correctly recognize he is experiencing the sort of cardiac event where cough CPR could help, without specific training to hit the right rhythms the coughing could turn mild heart attacks into fatal ones.

In other words, the procedure is just far too risky for a layman to attempt alone. This is one case where a nugget of truth and wisdom have been misrepresented and misunderstood to the public at large, though not intentionally.


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