The internet is full of bad advice, but this one particular piece of information could get you killed if you follow it.
Health.com reports that an estimated 38,000 U.S. women under the age of 50 experience heart attacks every year.
But, because the symptoms are far less obvious in women, they often go unchecked.
Often, women ignore the symptoms of a heart attack, assuming that their symptoms are related to something much less serious. Some women even reported thinking that they had the flu.
- shortness of breath (as though you've just run a marathon)
- upper back pressure (like a rope is being tied tightly around you)
- dizziness, lightheartedness, fainting
- pain or discomfort in both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
- cold sweat, nausea, vomiting
- chest pain
Even though people are sharing it as doctor's advice, there is one thing you should never do if you are experiencing a heart attack...
You may have seen this advice on your friend's Facebook page or even received it in an email from a trusted family member. It goes something like this:
"Without help the person whose heart stops beating properly 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."
This dangerous advice first started circulating the Internet in June 1999 and now it has resurfaced on Facebook.
It is called Cough CPR and if it is done at the wrong time, or in the wrong way, the consequences could be deadly.
It is a real strategy for maintaining consciousness in victims on the verge of full cardiac arrest, HOWEVER, victims must know exactly how to cough in order to keep enough oxygen-enriched blood circulating.
Your doctor would have to teach you the proper cough/breath rhythm; it cannot safely be learned through a viral Facebook post.
According to Snopes, Dr. Richard O. Cummins, Seattle’s director of emergency cardiac care, cautions that cough CPR can be dangerous for someone having a heart attack that does not result in cardiac arrest. If you don't know the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest, attempting the procedure could potentially kill you.
The American Heart Association does not endorse "cough CPR."
Instead, they recommend calling 911 and (if you aren't allergic) chewing/swallowing an Aspirin.
Share this important public service announcement with anyone who posts viral advice about "cough CPR."
It could save a life.