Stayin’ Alive…Literally

by EMP Editor on October 23, 2008

Who knew? “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees is not only a great song to dance to but it also provides an ideal beat to perform chest compressions as part of CPR on a heart attack victim.

Dr. David Matlock, of the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine at Peoria, tested his theory on a small group of 15 doctors and medical students. Matlock discovered that having the small study group listen to “Stayin’ Alive” aided them in performing chest compressions on dummies at the correct speed.

So, what is the proper speed? The American Heart Association (AHA) calls for a rate of 100 chest compressions per minute. Where does the 1977 “Saturday Night Fever” anthem stand? A close 103 beats per minute.

After five weeks of practicing CPR on dummies while listening to the disco tune the study group was then asked to perform it without hearing the music. Instead, the group was asked to keep the song in their heads while performing CPR. The group again kept up a decent pace.

Matlock’s findings will be presented at the American College of Emergency Physicians meeting in Chicago later this month.

What do you think? Is it a fun coincidence or really a great learning tool? Take a moment to comment once you finally got the song out of your head. Can you believe that classic is over 30 years old?

Source: Reuters


Svara October 24, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Amazing, now I’m going to have this stuck in my head all night. I thought I read somewhere too (and this is probably on your blog) that mouth to mouth was deemed unnecessary now because of second hand air inhalation and that the chest compressions do a good enough job on their own of forcing air into the lungs. This is a cute post!

Sarah July 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I read on that Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” also works.

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