Disco Saves Lives: Give CPR to the The Beat of Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive”

in Life, Music | September 2nd, 2013

What to do if someone one around you goes into cardiac arrest? The American Heart Association has two simple tips. Over at their web site, they write: “If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic disco song ‘Stayin’ Alive.’ CPR can more than double a person’s chances of survival, and ‘Stayin’ Alive’ has the right beat for Hands-Only CPR.” The song also has the right title for the job at hand.

To help spread the word, the AHA produced a series of videos available on YouTube, including this one starring Ken Jeong, an actor and comedian who is also a licensed physician in California. You may well recognize him from Judd Apatow’s film Knocked Up, where, like here, he exhorts people to “focus, pay attention.”

Behind this schtick, there’s some real science. According to NPR:

A study by the University of Illinois College of Medicine has found that the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” has the utterly perfect beat for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The 1977 disco hit contains 103 beats per minute. That’s close to the recommended chest compression rate of 100 beats every 60 seconds.

Below, you can find a very different version of the same campaign that aired in the UK. And thanks to this ad campaign, at least one life was actually saved.

Note: Another song to keep in mind in these life or death situations is Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” It has the right beat. But not so much the right title.

Demos for Hands-Only CPR can be found at the AHA web site.

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