In conjuring up images of CPR, Outliers doesnt usually think of disco balls, leisure suits or the Bee Gees.
But according to a new study, Stayin Alive: A Pilot Study to Test the Effectiveness of a Novel Mental Metronome in Maintaining Appropriate Compression Rates in Simulated Cardiac Arrest Scenarios, the music of the Bee Gees may actually be a useful tool in helping medical students perform CPR on patients.
Properly performed CPR can triple survival rates for cardiac arrest, but many people hesitate to jump in because they dont feel confident about maintaining the proper rhythm, said researcher David Matlock of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Our research subjects felt that listening to Stayin Alive improved their ability to perform chest compressions at the proper speed, and indeed their performance even five weeks later was excellent.
Stayin Alive apparently has 103 beats per minute, which is almost the exact rate at which chest compressions should be performed, the study said. Ten physicians and five medical students enrolled in the study and practiced chest compressions while listening to Stayin Alive maintained close to the ideal rhythm of 100 compressions per minute, as set by the American Heart Association, even weeks after completing their training.
The results were scheduled to be presented during the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians this week in Chicago.
This was a small study, but the results are encouraging enough that a further study using a larger and more diverse population is warranted, Matlock said. He mentioned a number of other pop songs have the right rhythm for CPR. Hopefully, he wasnt referring to Killing Me Softly.