Monday, April 14, 2008

Urban Legends and Heart Attack

Apparently an e-mail has been going around discussing coughing as a way to survive a heart attack if you are alone. Below is a message from a hospital saying the e-mail is simply an urban legend:

Here is information off REFUTING the recent URBAN LEGEND attributed to Rochester General Hospital/Via Health.
Important Notice: 'How to Survive a Heart Attack When Alone'

Hundreds of people around the country have been receiving 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 ViaHealth 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.


Rich Sensenbach
Web Development Coordinator
ViaHealth Rochester General Hospital
(585) 922-2124


MEW said...

How to survive a heart attack when you're alone: Take an aspirin and call 911.

These things are the modern equivalent of old wives' tales - based on hearsay and usually wrong. It's too bad people have been trained to think that everything on the internet is true. (This sentence is not true!)

Sean said...

Sometimes I wonder how much of it is a generational thing - because I don't get chain mail from under-30s. I think its that even those of us who do tend to believe these things, we know where to find the websites that debunk them. Plus, we get sick of unnecessarily clogged inboxes faster.

Anonymous said...

yup, blame it on the older generation(s), Sean. That's the spirit! and you clever yungins know where to find the debunking web sites, too! I don't buy this for a minute. Plenty 20s send chain letters on the Net. Plenty older (like my mom) do too.
how to survive a heart attack when you're alone: Leave your body by astral projection, look down on your lifeless form and make the choice to dive back in or fly to the light (this sentence is not true too!) oops, tequila talking. -J.S.

Simon said...

This is realy a threat. It is even send to me in Holland and I've found this has been send to thousands of internetters here in the Nehterlands.
Stop this nasty untrustfully mails.

Simon Noot
Breda Holland