Way back in 2008, we passed on a suggestion that the rhythm of the Bee Gees’ disco classic Stayin’ Alive was a useful guide to the rate at which you should perform CPR. However, a more recent study suggests that using music as a guide can do more harm than good.
BBC News reports that a number of studies suggest that using the rhythm of Stayin’ Alive or other similarly paced songs (such as Achy Breaky Heart or Nelly The Elephant — yes, both real examples) did ensure that people got the right rate. However, the pressure applied when using those songs as guides was often too low.
The big lessons? Knowing CPR properly is the most useful way to deal with a situation where someone’s heart stops, so sign up for some first-aid training so you can get both rhythm and pressure correct. That said, even poor CPR is better than standing by and letting someone die.