Friday, October 17, 2008

Disco Pumps?

Appreciation to a colleague contributor (look for him here soon) for sending this one my way:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. doctors have found the Bee Gees 1977 disco anthem "Stayin' Alive" provides an ideal beat to follow while performing chest compressions as part of CPR on a heart attack victim.

The American Heart Association calls for chest compressions to be given at a rate of 100 per minute in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). "Stayin' Alive" almost perfectly matches that, with 103 beats per minute.

CPR is a lifesaving technique involving chest compressions alone or with mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing. It is used in emergencies such as cardiac arrest in which a person's breathing or heartbeat has stopped.

CPR can triple survival rates, but some people are reluctant to do it in part because they are unsure about the proper rhythm for chest compressions. But research has shown many people do chest compressions too slowly during CPR.

In a small study headed by Dr. David Matlock of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, listening to "Stayin' Alive" helped 15 doctors and medical students to perform chest compressions on dummies at the proper speed.

Five weeks after practicing with the music playing, they were asked to perform CPR again on dummies by keeping the song in their minds, and again they kept up a good pace.

"The theme 'Stayin' Alive' is very appropriate for the situation," Matlock said in a telephone interview on Thursday. "Everybody's heard it at some point in their life. People know the song and can keep it in their head."

Some thoughts:

  1. Did they have a comparator group listening to Mel Torme?
  2. Will people compress harder during the “ah, ah, ah, ah” part?
  3. Will the AHA have to pay a royalty?
  4. For those of you who are under 30, or are Disco-phobic, a la Dr. Johnny Fever, I’ve done some research to find alternatives in the 100-105 BPM range:

-“Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon (keep pumping through the "Aaaarooo"s)

-“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder

-“Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding (Think of the bass line)

-“I Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash

-“The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem (do not use E's hand gestures.)

-“I Think I love You” by the Partridge Family (also a good song for euthanasia, I imagine)

-“Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel (may result in broken ribs?)

-“Back to You” by John Meyer

5. CPR guidelines have changed, per the American Heart Association. No rescue breaths or mouth to mouth is recommended now, just compressions. Some other experts still recommend mouth to mouth as part of the overall CPR, although studies do seem to show a more favorable outcome for compression only training.

6. If you are not CPR trained, please become CPR trained. Find a class near you.


marcia said...

Looks like CPR training has gotten a lot more fun since I took a class. We didn't learn compressions to any rhythm (just timing), and I often wondered how you'd know if you were compressing hard enough and fast enough to perfuse the brain.

Someone else, commenting on this story elsewhere, said she had learned to the beat of "Another One Bites the Dust." I think "Stayin' Alive" is much more hopeful, even if it does leave the BeeGees stuck in your head.

Doc said...

Most people do not press hard enough, and it is why training on good equipment with a good instructor is beneficial. One should almost be breaking the ribs with compressions.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I love the idea that anything by the Patridge Family would be a good euthanasia accompaniment. Although, to be honest, when the lights go out for me one last time, I do not want to enter the mystery with that echoing in my ears.

What bout infant CPR, would speed metal work, since the compressions have to be faster?

Doc said...

Nice! I guess some rave music would work too! Actually, although the average infant heart rate is higher than adults, the recommended CPR rate is the same now as for adults.

What would be good or likely music to hear for the last time?
While my preference would be Debussy's "Clair De Lune," I suspect mine would be something from a Monty Python Soundtrack. Perhaps "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

Erudite Redneck said...

"Disco pumps." I keep thinking of shoes.

Doc said...

You got it! High-steppers and bell-bottoms.