oa Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Cardiovascular benefits from coughing in cardiac emergencies

Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1995-1892
  • E-ISSN: 1680-0745



Coughing produces pulsatile changes in the thorax and abdomen which are transmitted to the heart chambers, arteries and veins. These pulsatile pressure waves are superimposed on the underlying pressures in each compartment. Closure of competent venous valves at the thoracic inlet prevents these pressure waves from being propagated into the brachiocephalic venous bed, resultIng In augmentation of tlte arteriovenous pressure gradient and flow to that bed. These perturbations can produce effective circulation during Itypotensive rhythm disturbances including asystole and ventricular fibrillation, and may affect conversion to sinus rhythm from ventricular tachycardia. Preliminary observations of the effects of coughing in severe mitral regurgitation suggest thai significanl haemodynamfc benefit occurs.

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