Doctors in the US have found that the Bee Gees’ disco classic ‘Stayin’ Alive’ could save lives if its beat is followed to perform chest compressions on cardiac arrest victims.
Research says the song contains 103 beats per minute, close to the recommended rate of 100 chest compressions per minute.
According to the BBC, the report authors said many people were put off performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)as they were not sure about keeping the correct rhythm. However, CPR, performed properly, could triple cardiac arrest survival rates.
The study by the University of Illinois College of Medicine saw doctors and students performing CPR on mannequins while listening to ‘Stayin’ Alive’. They were asked to time chest compressions with the beat. Then 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 – more than recommended by the American Heart Association, but better than too few, according to Dr Matlock, one of the men behind the study.
A spokesman for the American Heart Association said it had been using ‘Stayin’ Alive’ as a training tip for CPR instructors for about two years, although it was not aware of any previous studies that tested the song.