You Can Now Do CPR To More Than Just Disco Music

If you're trying to remember how to do CPR, but the guideline song Stayin' Alive just doesn't stick in your head, New York Presbyterian Hospital has a 40-song playlist you can browse instead. All of the songs are a CPR-friendly 100+ beats per minute.

Photo via VisualHunt.

The idea behind picking a song is to have something you can sing in your head while delivering chest compressions. (Don't bother stopping to give breaths, unless you've been trained otherwise; "hands only" CPR is effective.) A pace of 100 per minute is the minimum, and cheery CPR instructors have often recommended Stayin' Alive or I Will Survive as good tunes to keep in mind. More cynical folks prefer Another One Bites the Dust. (CPR boosts survival rates, but the statistics are still grim.)

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Not everybody grew up on disco, so you'll want a familiar song in your head when the moment comes. In Japan, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da is better known. And New York Presbyterian's playlist has plenty more choices: Missy Elliott's Work It, ABBA's Dancing Queen, Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror, or (if you really must) Train's Soul Sister.

After you browse the playlist, though, make sure to brush up on how to actually do CPR. In a study brilliantly titled Achy Breaky Makey Wakey Heart? A Randomised Crossover Trial of Musical Prompts, researchers found that no matter what song volunteers used, most still didn't press hard enough. Taking a class with a realistic model will help you understand how to position your hands and how hard to push -- it's harder than you think. You can find CPR classes through Australia Wide First Aid, the Australian Red Cross, or your local hospital or fire station. 


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