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How to Survive a Heart Attack When Alone


Hundreds of people around the country have received an e-mail message entitled “How to Survive a Heart Attack When Alone.” This article recommends a procedure to survive a heart attack in which the victim is advised to repeatedly cough at regular intervals until help arrives.

The source of information for this article was attributed to Rochester General Hospital. This article is being propagated on the Internet as individuals send it to friends and acquaintances – and then those recipients of the memo send it to their friends and acquaintances, and so on.

We can find no record that an article even resembling this was produced by Rochester General Hospital within the last 20 years. Furthermore, the medical information listed in the article can not be verified by current medical literature and is in no way condoned by this hospital’s medical staff. Also, both The Mended Hearts, Inc., a support organization for heart patients, and the American Heart Association have said that this information should not be forwarded or used by anyone.

Please help us combat the proliferation of this misinformation. We ask that you please send this e-mail to anyone who sent you the article, and please ask them to do the same.

For reporters:

Other information on this issue can be found at The Mended Hearts, Inc. or at Urban Legends.

About The Sands-Constellation Heart Institute

The Sands-Constellation Heart Institute at Rochester General Hospital is a regional leader in cardiac care. As one of the largest cardiac programs in New York State, Rochester General offers patients the clinical care they need.  With three dedicated operating rooms, four state-of-the-art cardiac lab and two electrophysiology labs, SCHI is able to ensure that your heart health needs are met. Learn more...

Heart Attack Information & Resources