Discrimination!

Showing how very easy it is to be drawn into poor advice.

A close friend, who for all the right reasons has to remain nameless, recently sent me the following:

Self-performed C P R
Because we care for you!!!
1. Let’s say it’s 7:25 pm and you’re going home (alone of course) after an unusually hard day on the job.
2. You’re really tired, upset and frustrated.
3. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up in to your jaw. You are only about five km from the hospital nearest your home.
4. Unfortunately, you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far.
5. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.
6. HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE?
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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!
10. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail, kindly sends it to 10 people, you can bet that we’ll save at least one life.
11.  Rather than sending jokes, please..contribute by forwarding this mail which can save a person’s life!
12. If this message comes around to you more than once, please don’t get irritated. You should be happy that you have many friends who care about you and your well-being.

I thought that it would be good to pass this on to all you dear readers; a la Point 11.  So I did a quick web search to find a reliable and authentic source for this advice. Very quickly I came to the American Heart Association’s website and read the following:

Cough CPR

Updated:Dec 10,2014

The American Heart Association does not endorse “cough CPR,” a coughing procedure widely publicized on the Internet. As noted in the 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care, “cough CPR” is not useful for unresponsive victims and should not be taught to lay rescuers.During a sudden arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), it may be possible for a conscious, responsive person to cough forcefully and repetitively to maintain enough blood flow to the brain to remain conscious for a few seconds until the arrhythmia is treated. Blood flow is maintained by increased pressure in the chest that occurs during forceful coughs. This has been mislabeled “cough CPR,” although it’s not a form of traditional resuscitation.

Why isn’t “cough CPR” appropriate in CPR training courses?
“Cough CPR” should not be taught in lay-rescuer CPR courses because it is generally not useful in the prehospital setting. In virtually all lay-rescuer CPR courses, the finding that signals an emergency is the victim’s unresponsiveness. Unresponsive victims will not be able to perform “cough CPR.”

Are there situations when “cough CPR” is appropriate?
“Cough” CPR may be considered in settings such as the cardiac catheterization laboratory where patients are conscious and constantly monitored (for example, with an ECG machine). A nurse or physician is also present who can instruct and 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 definitive treatment.

This content was last reviewed on 11/14/2014.

AHA Recommendation

The best strategy is to be aware of the  warning signs for cardiac arrest – sudden loss of responsiveness and no normal breathing – and respond to them by calling 9-1-1.

At the same time this item on WikiPedia came up in the search:

Cough CPR is the subject of a hoax email that began circulating in 1999.[citation needed] It is described as a “resuscitation technique” in which through prolonged coughing and deep breathing every 2 seconds, a person suffering a cardiac dysrhythmia immediately before cardiac arrest can keep conscious until help arrives (or until the person can get to the nearest hospital). Neither the American Heart Association nor the American Red Cross endorses cough CPR during a heart attack.[1].

This confusion appears to revolve primarily over the public’s failure to discriminate between a heart attack, cardiac arrest and cardiac dysrhythmias. A heart attack occurs when an occlusion (e.g. blood clot) of an artery in the heart slowly causes tissue to die. This can result in chest pain and discomfort, and requires immediate medical attention to resolve the occlusion by emergency surgery or cardiac clot-busting drugs. A cardiac dysrhythmia is primarily an electrical problem within the heart, and is sometimes treated with electrolytes, vagal maneuver, or electrical cardioversion. Many dysrhythmias may herald an impending heart attack.[medical citation needed]

So good people, be careful and make a note of the AHA’s recommendation above.

Because our dogs need us to be around for ever!

7 thoughts on “Discrimination!

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