Bee Gees Song Helps Doctors Keep CPR Patients 'Stayin' Alive'

October 17, 2008 06:30 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A study finds that doctors trained to give CPR to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” are better at maintaining the rhythm of the lifesaving treatment.

More Patients 'Stayin’ Alive' Thanks to New Training

Doctors know that CPR, when done correctly, triples the survival rate for cardiac arrest. However, administering CPR at the right rhythm is often difficult, and sometimes prevents people from attempting to try CPR.

In a recent study at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, researchers found that medical students and doctors who learned to perform CPR while listening to “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees were able to maintain close to that rhythm long after completing their training, even when not listening to the song, The Post-Standard reports.

The ideal rate for CPR is 100 compressions per minute, and “Stayin’ Alive” has 103 beats per minute. First, trainees listened to the song on their iPods while performing CPR on mannequins. Five weeks later, they were asked to repeat the drill without the music while keeping the song in their head. Most were able to maintain a steady rate of 113 beats per minute, which is within the allowable limit.

As it turns out, the Associated Press reports that the American Heart Association has actually used the song in CPR training for about two years. It was considered an insider trick, although no one had ever done serious research on the subject.

In fact, many pop songs offer a good metric for CPR. As Dr. Matthew Gilbert, one of the University of Illinois study participants, told the AP, “I heard a rumor that ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ works also, but it didn’t seem quite as appropriate.”

Related Topic: Video games in health care

Pop songs aren’t the only ones to cross over from pop culture to health care: researchers have been exploring the ways in which video games can promote health. In August, Dr. Pamela M. Kato of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands conducted a study finding that young cancer patients who played the video game "Re-Mission" adhered to their cancer medications more closely than those who played the video game "Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb." In the game Re-mission, players fight against cancer cells.

Video games are also used to help Iraq veterans get over post-traumatic stress syndrome, The Baltimore Sun reported. In “Virtual Iraq,” video game technology, a smell machine and a vibration platform work together to help veterans deal with emotions in a controlled setting.

Reference: 'Stayin' Alive,' Cardiovascular Disease Web Guide


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