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HomeAnswersCardiologycprWhat could have been done to save my mother, who died of a heart attack?

How to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Rohit Jain

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At July 2, 2015
Reviewed AtJune 8, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

My mom recently died due to heart attack. She was an asthma patient and also had depression. She was having medicines for all these. One morning, I saw her biting her tongue and was unconscious. I rubbed her chest slowly that she breathed. When I stopped rubbing, she stopped breathing after some time. After sometime I again rubbed and she breathed and stopped breathing after I stopped rubbing. A doctor came home and confirmed her death and all that he asked was whether she had any heart disease. I guess it was a silent heart attack. Please let me know how could have I saved her life or the procedure of rubbing the chest was right or wrong? Also, if I had rubbed the chest continuously whether it could have helped? (or only CPR will help in this case). Just asking this question to help someone else in future.

Answered by Dr. Rohit Jain


Welcome to icliniq.com.

First of all, I appreciate your interest to know the emergency life-saving procedure. Tongue bite usually occurs in seizures and not in heart attacks. There is a possibility of a seizure in her case. Many reasons can be there for such an incident. It can be due to fall in sugar levels, due to side effect of asthalin in medicines, due to missed drug, due to high potassium caused by respiratory drugs, due to high blood pressure causing brain stroke, etc.

If there is a heart attack or cardiac arrest, then the best way is to give CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). Do not rub, but compress the chest with your hand and release as if you are manually pumping blood. Also, you should have given mouth to mouth respiration if you thought she is intermittently breathing. This way you are pushing air into lungs manually. The purpose of CPR is to allow lungs and heart keep working till we can get the patient onto a machine.

Since the diagnosis here is not clear, we would suggest that what you did was in the right direction but you should have applied more pressure and done it aggressively. Please learn basic CPR from any institute or doctor so that next time you know how to save someone!!

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Rohit Jain
Dr. Rohit Jain

Internal Medicine

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