Disco hit 'Stayin' Alive' helps people perform CPR

Thu. Oct. 16 2008 1:20 PM ET; CTV.ca News Staff

If you're learning CPR it may be a good idea to break out the bell bottoms and platform shoes.

A new study has found that practicing chest compressions, a key component of CPR, while listening to the disco hit "Stayin' Alive" will help you keep close to the ideal rhythm of 100 compressions per minute.

"Stayin' Alive" has a tempo of 103 beats per minute.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois College of Medicine, found that the Bee Gees hit helped CPR trainees keep time weeks after they finished their training program.

"Properly performed CPR can triple survival rates for cardiac arrest, but many people hesitate to jump in because they don't feel confident about maintaining the proper rhythm," researcher Dr. David Matlock said in a statement. "Our research subjects felt that listening to 'Stayin' Alive' improved their ability to perform chest compressions at the proper speed, and indeed their performance even five weeks later was excellent."

The researchers will present their findings next week in Chicago at Scientific Assembly, the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

The study included 10 doctors and five medical students. When they were re-tested five weeks after the research was completed, they performed compressions at an average rate of 113 beats per minute, a tempo that falls within the range the American Heart Association finds acceptable.

At their follow-up assessment, the subjects said that training with music made them feel more confident about performing CPR.

The researchers said they are planning a larger study with subjects drawn from a more diverse population.

As well, they will include a variety of different songs that have a similar tempo.

"If we can develop an easy way for people to remember the proper rhythm, that's a great step toward encouraging bystanders to do CPR," Matlock said.

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To learn the correct method of providing CPR, contact the CPR Instructor's Network: info@cprnetwork.ca