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Passed out while coughing??

My boyfriend was just coughing while driving, and passed out. We got in a minor accident, damaging only one tire. (Everyone is fine.) Anyone know what may have caused this??

He can't go to the doctor until Monday, and hasn't been coughing as badly since. Any help will work!

 
mrskrisher

Asked by mrskrisher at 4:38 PM on Dec. 24, 2010 in Health

Level 15 (1,889 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • Excessive coughing like what your husband is experiencing is causing a vaso-vagal response. There is a cranial nerve that runs the length of your neck and down. When rubbed due to muscle contraction in that area, like the straining from coughing, you can stimulate the vagus nerve. This then causes bradycardia, which is a slow heart rate, or can even cause his heart to slow enough to stop beating. This is where he would pass out. It is seen all the time in ICU patients that are manually suctioned with cathetors to make them cough. Your husband should rebound immediately from each episode. If he doesn't he could have brain damage from lack of oxygen while being passed out. This is why is is our protocol to hyperoxygenate and hyperventilate prior to suctioning just in case. (Give 100% Oxygen breaths and take very large breaths) Now... have we tried cough suppressants? :). This is dangerous for him to be doing it all the time.
    Skepticchick

    Answer by Skepticchick at 4:41 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • What about the er?
    rebock

    Answer by rebock at 4:41 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=9314

    Syncope coughing..... Probably what he has... here's an article to explain more maybe you can relate to it?
    Skepticchick

    Answer by Skepticchick at 4:44 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • SkepticChick,

    It's only happened this time, never before. Is it something that may happen again? Or should we just keep an eye on it?

    THANK YOU for you comment!!
    mrskrisher

    Comment by mrskrisher (original poster) at 4:47 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • OMG! How scary!

    SleepingBeautee

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 4:48 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • Yeah I've heard of some who have to pull over while driving if they start to cough heavily.

    He should definitely go to the doctor. They'll help give a for sure diagnosis and treatment.
    Skepticchick

    Answer by Skepticchick at 5:44 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • Oh and so far as I know it's not really life threatening... of course unless he has an episode while driving. He should probably avoid driving until seeing a doctor... and if he has an episode while driving on other occasions, that he pull over to have the episode.
    Skepticchick

    Answer by Skepticchick at 5:47 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • Thank you all SO much!
    mrskrisher

    Comment by mrskrisher (original poster) at 6:13 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

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