link to Home Page

icon Heart Attack

How to Survive a Heart Attack When Alone
Rochester General Hospital Newsletter, June 1999

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. 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 phone and, between breaths, call for help.

However, if you are having chest pain (and don't have other medications that are prescribed for you), get some aspirin and put it in your mouth and suck on it or chew it. This has been shown to be very beneficial in slowing the destruction of the MI heart attack) and preserving the heart muscle. Aspirin is a naturally based medication and usually recommended by (us) informed primary care providers to be taken daily (baby aspirin or 80 mg or similar) as a preventative measure for the MI/ "heart attack". Especially the deadly "first heart attack", where the symptoms are not recognized and progress to death. Much clinical research supports this. Aspirin is based upon the willow tree bark, essentially "natural". Simple, cheap (not under anyone's patent!), natural and very effective - should be included in everyone's "survival arsenal". Cayenne Pepper is a life saver too - working in a different way - and I don’t see why both couldn't be used together - or whichever is handier!

Offered by Craig.