Phones, moms, and coughing to save your life

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mom

I read an email not long ago that suggested coughing if you are alone and having a heart attack. I looked it up and “cough CPR” is an actual term. The problem is you have to be having the right kind of heart attack and you should be observed by medical professionals while doing it (note: why would I be doing it if I were surrounded by medical professionals?)

As SNOPES.com says, “In other words, the procedure might be the right thing to attempt or it might be the very thing that would kill the afflicted depending on which sort of cardiac crisis is being experienced. Without a doctor there to judge the situation and, if cough CPR is indicated, to supervise the rhythmic coughing, the procedure is just far too risky for a layman to attempt.” The advice medical professionals give is to chew up and swallow some aspirin.

This came up because my brother and 80-something mother drove out from Kansas (a two day drive), and he began to wonder what would happen if HE had a heart attack during the drive (we have a history of heart problems in the family). He said he would use the “cough” and tell our mom to dial 911.

One problem. He has one of those new gadget phones, and unless you know what you’re doing it is difficult to dial any number…let alone 911.

He envisioned this scenario.

(Chest pains. “I think I’m having a heart attack.”)

COUGH. “Mom, dial 911!” COUGH

“How do I do that, dear?”

COUGH. “Swipe your finger across the screen. COUGH. Then the numbers come up.”

“Swipe my finger?”

COUGH. “SWIPE YOUR FINGER!”

“Oh, dear. Which finger should I use?”

COUGH. “ANY FINGER!” COUGH.

“It just turns black, honey.”

I remember teaching my mom how to operate her first computer a few years ago. My very first words in the very first lesson were, “OK, take your mouse and…”

“Mouse?”

My brother wouldn’t have stood a chance.

I think he bought some aspirin for the drive home.

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