22 October 2008

Disco Infarct-o

You're out on a weekend. You're having fun. Suddenly, someone nearby collapses clutching their chest. You think, "Hey, I was CPR certified back in college, I should do something!"

So you start CPR. How many chest compression per minute should you do?

If you said 60, you're just like the rest of us who need to download the update. The current recommendation is 100. And the Bee Gees can help:

In a small but intriguing 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 Thursday.

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.

It gets better:

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.

And even better, still:

Dr. Matthew Gilbert, a 28-year-old medical resident, was among participants in the University of Illinois study this past spring. Since then, he said, he has revived real patients by keeping the song in his head while doing CPR.

Gilbert said he was surprised the song worked as well as it did.

"I was a little worried because I've been told that I have a complete lack of rhythm," he said. Also, Gilbert said he's not really a disco fan.

He does happen to like a certain Queen song with a similar beat.

"I heard a rumor that 'Another One Bites the Dust' works also, but it didn't seem quite as appropriate," Gilbert said.


Anonymous said...

Good beats: "I Will Survive," "Eye of the Tiger," "Feelings"

Bad: "Don't Fear the Reaper," "The End," "The Bitch is Back"

WestEnder said...

Okay, I'll run with this...


I've Got the World on a String
What a Wonderful World
In This World


The Killing Moon
Straight to Hell
Ghost Riders in the Sky
Stairway to Heaven