Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Disco song helps medical providers remember CPR



It looks like the once-popular, all-too-hard-to-get-out-of-your-head, Bee Gee's song "Stayin' Alive" might, in fact, be a real lifesaver.

University of Illinois College of Medicine researchers in Peoria recently conducted a small study in which 10 doctors and five medical students who listened to the "Saturday Night Fever" tune while practicing CPR not only performed perfectly, they remembered the technique five weeks later.

The song plays at 103 beats per minute, which coincidentally, is just the right rate for CPR, per the current guidelines.

"One trouble with CPR training, Matlock said, is that most practitioners, from trained medical professionals to people who take classes at the local fire department, fail to perform the potentially lifesaving technique aggressively enough."

Further, "Both the message of the title and the mechanics of the music support the CPR message, said Mary Fran Hazinski, a nurse at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville and senior science editor for the heart association.

While the song's new potential use is amusing, it could save tens of thousands of lives each year. Just this year the American Heart Association (AHA) published a report entitled: Hands-Only (Compression-Only) Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: A Call to Action for Bystander Response to Adults Who Experience Out-of-Hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The current recommendations are as follows:

When an adult suddenly collapses, trained or untrained bystanders should—at a minimum—activate their community emergency medical response system (eg, call 911) and provide high-quality chest compressions by pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest, minimizing interruptions (Class I).


If a bystander is not trained in CPR, then the bystander should provide hands-only CPR (Class IIa). The rescuer should continue hands-only CPR until an automated external defibrillator arrives and is ready for use or EMS providers take over care of the victim.

If a bystander was previously trained in CPR and is confident in his or her ability to provide rescue breaths with minimal interruptions in chest compressions, then the bystander should provide either conventional CPR using a 30:2 compression-to-ventilation ratio (Class IIa) or hands-only CPR (Class IIa). The rescuer should continue CPR until an automated external defibrillator arrives and is ready for use or EMS providers take over care of the victim.

If the bystander was previously trained in CPR but is not confident in his or her ability to provide conventional CPR including high-quality chest compressions (ie, compressions of adequate rate and depth with minimal interruptions) with rescue breaths, then the bystander should give hands-only CPR (Class IIa). The rescuer should continue hands-only CPR until an automated external defibrillator arrives and is ready for use or EMS providers take over the care of the victim.


Remember, you don't have to be trained in CPR to perform chest compressions. Many health-care providers have never done CPR, either. If you witness a sudden cardiac arrest, that person's best chance of survival is immediate chest compressions and automatic defibrillation (many public places now also have defibrillators).

Just hum to the tune of "Stayin' Alive" while doing those compressions, and the rate should be close to perfect.


Who knew that the overplayed disco song is useful not only for making white people dance badly at wedding receptions, but also for saving lives?

3 comments:

John said...

Well, it's nice to know that Disco is good for something. :)

Seriously, this is wonderful news.

Antigone32 said...

i hate the fact that everytime i read this acticle i have the stupid song stuck in my head all day...but hey, at least now i can save a life ; )

Generic Cialis said...

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