If you’ve done any research on CPR, you’ve probably come across a method called “cough CPR,” in which a person suffering from a heart event can maintain blood flow and consciousness through repetitive coughing. However, the American Heart Association urges patients and laypeople not to learn or use “cough CPR” in any setting. Not only is it ineffective, but it could also make the patient’s condition worse by delaying life-saving treatment.
What is “cough CPR?”
When a person experiences a sudden arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, they may be able to cough repetitively and forcefully enough to maintain sufficient blood flow and remain conscious until the arrhythmia is able to be treated.
Why doesn’t “cough CPR” work?
There’s one caveat that makes “cough CPR” ineffective: the patient must be conscious. Unresponsiveness is usually the trigger that causes attention from bystanders. Therefore, the opportunity for laypeople to perform it will most likely not arise.
Why could “cough CPR” be dangerous?
Any delay in restoring blood flow and oxygen to the brain could have lasting repercussions. So by attempting to perform an ineffective form of CPR – instead of calling emergency responders and performing traditional CPR until they arrive – could cause brain damage, or worse.
If you want to be able to provide lifesaving care at work, home or in any situation, the best option is to take an American Heart Association-authorized CPR/AED course, such as those offered by HeartCert CPR. Register for a course today.
HeartCert CPR is your trusted training partner for First Aid and CPR in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota. We now offer online, night and weekend classes to fit your busy schedule! We offer a variety of courses, including CPR/AED/First Aid and CPR/AED, Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and Emergency Medical Responder – First Responder (EMR).