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How to survive a heart attack in the air


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Hi,

 

I received this in the post today - and thought it worth while passing on.

 

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1 Imagine you're flying, on your own, and suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up in to your jaw.

 

3 You're probably having a heart attack, and you have about 10 seconds before you lose consciousness.

 

4 However, all is not lost. You can help yourself by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously followed by a deep breath. The cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. Repeat this every two seconds without let-up until you can land the plane, or until you feel your heart beating normally again.

 

5 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, you can stay conscious long enough to get help.

 

Regards, and safe flying,

 

Duncan

 

 

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Cough CPR is a "real" phenomenon but there are many provisos as to whether it may or may not work. And not all chest pain is a heart attack and not all heart attacks lead to cardiac arrest. The only time you'll know you need CPR is if you are on a heart monitor. If you have an arrest which is when you need CPR the first thing that happens is you go unconscious and then it's too late to start coughing.

 

1. Firstly there are many patients who, when having a heart attack, do not survive CPR even when it's done by trained providers in the correct ideal manner.

 

Cough CPR is not as effective as real CPR so in some people will be ineffective. There are some types of heart attack where CPR does not work at so if you have these events - too bad.

 

2. CPR is unlikely to provide adequate circulation in the upright position. The driving pressure generated is quite low and may work to pump blood to the brain in a horizontal patient. But it's unlikely to do so in the sitting position.

 

3. Even if it works enough to keep you alive it probably won't provide Adequate blood flow to the brain to the level required to undertake complex cerebral activity like aviate.

 

 

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Firstly there are many patients who, when having a heart attack, do not survive CPR even when it's done by trained providers in the correct ideal manner.

This is very true, CPR success is more for soap operas unfortunately, percentages of genuine survival by CPR after the heart stops is struggling to make double digits. A friend of a friend of mine was dead for 1hr and 25 minutes and is very much alive and well (I met him and we had a good talk, very nice man) but that was no ordinary situation and he was not saved by CPR.

 

 

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"This is very true, CPR success is more for soap operas unfortunately, percentages of genuine survival by CPR after the heart stops is struggling to make double digits"

 

Yep. Actually struggles to make single digits. Out of hospital 1 year arrest survival in Australia is barely over 1% .

 

Interesting book called "The myth of CPR" outlines the American story which is about the same as OZ. Worth a read - at least the first half till he starts getting all pop-psychological and drags religion into trying to explain why doctors (the most non-religious groups of people on the planet) try to save lives using CPR.

 

 

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