Thursday, July 09, 2009

In an emergency, the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" might help you save someone's life

The HSI e-Alert, a free daily newsletter service of the Health Sciences Institute of Baltimore, included a great mnemonic for CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation).

According to the American Heart Association, they say, anyone doing CPR should maintain a rate of 100 chest compressions per minute; that's the pace necessary to prevent brain and heart tissue damage in cardiac arrest victims.

So how do you maintain such a pace?

Apparently, having discovered that the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive is paced at 103 beats per minute, the AHA decided several years ago to urge CPR students to use the song as a mnemonic.

And a study at the University of Illinois showed that, when 15 students listened to "Stayin Alive" while practicing compressions, they averaged 109 compressions per minute.

Not bad!

In fact, said the study leader, extra compressions are better than too few.

Yeah. But that's in a classroom situation while the students were listening.

What about afterward?
Five weeks later they repeated the drill, but with no music playing this time. They were told to simply think of the song. In this second phase, they averaged 113 compressions per minute.

So. Do you remember "Stayin' Alive"?

I do. Or, should I say, I remember just that signature line in the high falsetto . . .
Stayin' alive! Stayin' alive!
Ha - ha - ha - ha
Stayin' alive! Stayin' alive!
And I think I know the pace.

The author of the HSI article concluded,
Ironically, another song with a similar steady beat works just as well: Queen's Another One Bites the Dust.

I think I'll go with the Bee Gees.
Yep. Me, too!

By the way. As I was looking for URLs to remind readers of how these songs sound (I have no recollection at all of Queen's song), I found a Bee Gees music video.

It makes me want to cry--to see virile, grown men singing in falsetto!

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