Can you truly save yourself from a heart attack or delay cardiac arrest?

Can you truly save yourself from a heart attack or delay cardiac arrest?

man coughing

For nearly 20 years, this “advice” has been circulating the internet as an emergency technique in the event of a heart attack.  But is it as dependable as it has been made out to be?

Although “cough CPR” may be helpful in settings such as the cardiac catheterization laboratory (where all patients are constantly monitored) it should not be taught in lay-rescuer CPR courses. “Cough CPR” should only be performed with the help of a nurse or physician who can coach the patients to cough forcefully every one to three seconds during the initial seconds of a sudden arrhythmia. However, as this is not effective in all patients, it should not delay treatment.

Additionally, “cough CPR” is not promoted by the American Heart Association. In 2010 coughing forcefully and repetitively to maintain enough blood flow to the brain was noted as useless for unresponsive victims and should not be taught to lay rescuers. This is because it is generally not useful in the prehospital setting, as in most cases the victim will be unresponsive.


If you still have questions about Sudden Cardiac Arrest, you can always leave us a comment, give us a call at 800-580-1375, or email us at


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