How to survive a heart attack alone – myths

HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE! – I’ve seen this circulated many times, but unfortunately, haven’t seen any cardiologist prove or refute it.

The post goes _ _ _ You are alone & suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest _ _ _ these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously _ _ _

I have seen it many times and always tried to clarify. When you cough, you use your lungs. I can’t imagine that lungs will be able to push the heart muscles enough to move blood in the coronary vessels (supplying heart muscles). When we do CPR (when heart stops beating), we have to press on the chest really hard (1/3 diameter of the chest) to move blood in coronaries. This is a great example of telling a lie 1000 times , makes it a ‘fact’. Please talk to another medic and ask their opinion, preferably  a ‘cardiologist,’.

In case of Myocardial infarction (commonly known as ‘heart attack‘), the blood supply to heart muscles is reduced, due to narrow coronary vessels (arteries supplying the heart). If you have no medical help to dilate those vessels (like Aspirin tablets), the best you could do is reduce consumption of Oxygen by those muscles. If you exert by coughing, you’ll increase the O2 demand causing more damage to the heart muscles.
You should just relax and call for help ASAP. The best outcome is if you are treated within an hour. That’s why NHS (in UK) want you to dial 999 if you feel chest pain. (I know help may not be available as quickly in many other countries)
Look at British heart Foundation website.

If help is miles away, and you are a medic and in a hospital alone, you may try this

He’s not eating anything as he’s so unwell.

Precisely. Brain knows you are unwell and you’ll not be able to find/get food (primitive instinct). So it starts conserving energy and water. You’re requirement goes right down. You are not moving around much anyway. Being sick often kills your appetite; force-feeding won’t help. What will help is staying hydrated, till you recover.