Cough CPR is the subject of a hoax email that began circulating in 1999.]citation needed[ It is described as a "resuscitation technique" in which through prolonged coughing and deep breathing every 2 seconds, a person suffering a cardiac dysrhythmia immediately before cardiac arrest can keep conscious until help arrives (or until the person can get to the nearest hospital). Neither the American Heart Association nor the American Red Cross endorses cough CPR during a heart attack..
This confusion appears to revolve primarily over the public's failure to discriminate between a heart attack, cardiac arrest and cardiac dysrhythmias. A heart attack occurs when an occlusion (e.g. blood clot) of an artery in the heart slowly causes tissue to die. This can result in chest pain and discomfort, and requires immediate medical attention to resolve the occlusion by emergency surgery or cardiac clot-busting drugs. A cardiac dysrhythmia is primarily an electrical problem within the heart, and is sometimes treated with electrolytes, vagal maneuver, or electrical cardioversion. Many dysrhythmias may herald an impending heart attack.]medical citation needed[
A cough medicine (or linctus, when in syrup form) is a medicinal drug used in an attempt to treat coughing and related conditions. For dry coughs, treatment with cough suppressants (antitussives) may be attempted to suppress the body's urge to cough. However, in productive coughs (coughs that produce phlegm), treatment is instead attempted with expectorants (typically guaifenesin, in most commercial medications) in an attempt to loosen mucus from the respiratory tract.
There is no good evidence for or against the use of these medications in those with a cough. Even though they are used by 10% of American children weekly, they are not recommended in children 6 years of age or younger because of lack of evidence showing effect and concerns of harm.