A viewer wrote to our Verify team with a question about something seen on Facebook.

The message claims if you are suffering a heart attack and alone, you should breathe deeply and cough every two seconds.

It sounds strange, but when we checked Facebook, this claim has been posted repeatedly in recent days.

Our fact checkers went to the American Heart Association to get answers.

Apparently, the science behind this is somewhat true, according to the American Heart Association, but only in isolated cases where victims realized they were about to lose consciousness and knew just how to cough to prevent fainting.

The American Heart Association does not recommend this procedure, and they don't recommend teaching it, saying it is just too dangerous.

So while we can verify the science behind cough CPR is real, the idea it would be an effective way to treat a heart attack is false. It is much safer to dial 911.

Also, we don't recommend getting medical advice from Facebook. It's probably best left up to a trained medical professional like your doctor.

VERIFY: Sources

American Heart Association


Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.