Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stayin' Alive

Do you remember the old song “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees? Maybe blogger friend Bill will feature it on his blog soon—he does love the hair days of the 1960s and 70s.

Well, the song has now been proven to be more than just a song. At 103 beats per minute, the old disco song has almost the perfect rhythm to help jump-start a stopped heart. Little did I know! But, I’m sure going to keep this in mind if I have another heart attack!

In study from the University of Illinois medical school, doctors and students maintained close to the ideal number of chest compressions doing CPR while listening to the catchy, sung-in-falsetto tune from the 1977 movie “Saturday Night Fever.”

The American Heart Association recommends 100 chest compressions per minute, far more than most people realize, study author Dr. David Matlock of the school’s Peoria, Illinois, campus said.

And while CPR can triple cardiac arrest survival rates when properly performed, many people hesitate to do it because they’re not sure about keeping the proper rhythm, Matlock said.
He found that “Stayin’ Alive,” which has a way of getting stuck in your head anyway, can help with that. His study involved 15 students and doctors and had two parts. First they did CPR on mannequins while listening to the song on iPods. They were asked to time chest compressions with the song’s beat. Five weeks later, they did the same drill without the music but were told to think of the song while doing compressions.

The average number of compressions the first time was 109 per minute; the second time it was 113. That’s more than recommended, but Matlock said that when it comes to trying to revive a stopped heart, a few extra compressions per minute is better than too few.

The study showed the song helped people who already know how to do CPR, and the results were promising enough to warrant larger, more definitive studies with real patients or untrained people, Matlock said. He plans to present his findings at an American College of Emergency Physicians meeting in Chicago this month.

It turns out the American Heart Association has been using the song as a training tip for CPR instructors for about two years. They learned of it from a physician “who sort of hit upon this as a training tool,” said association spokesman Dr. Vinay Nadkarni of the University of Pennsylvania.

So, not a fan of the Bee Gees, “Saturday Night Fever, or “Stayin’ Alive?” Well, rumor has it that a Queen song has a similar beat, but might not be as good to sing while trying to revive someone. The song? Maybe you’ve heard of it: “Another One Bites the Dust.”

Catchy beat. Just not as good to revive by.


  1. Informative, life altering, and funny. That's why I come to this site.

  2. Michael...I think you understand why I do this!

    Thanks for the compliment!

  3. So I'm allowed to laugh then. Good. Because that is so funny and ironic.

    Ok and so I totally love the slideshow pix of you and your wife snuggling up asleep with Evan in his Boppy pillow. Awwwww. The only thing a Boppy is good for is holding a newborn.


  4. I am not, no make that never was, a fan of disco but I prefer to stay alive than bite the dust. Funny last paragraph Steve. But trust me I don't want to have to be humming or singing that song while riding my bike. Gives me the chills just thinking about it.

  5. Heidi...maybe we should send you the is totally worthless now, but my wife HAD to have it before he was born...

    And, on this site, you are always free to laugh until you pee in your pants...

  6. Bill...I can just see you wearing a silver shirt, unbutton down to your bellybutton...then again, I really don't want to even imagine that!

  7. Steve: Just peed. No! Just kidding. But you do make me laugh. And I have a useless Boppy already because I, too, HAD to have one when I was pregnant with Brianna. Duh! But thanks.


  8. Yard sale...on that boppy! That's where ours is going!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to read what you have written.