Hum a tune, save a life

It’s the way CPR works:

Music can be a lifesaver — literally.

When first responders are being taught to perform hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation, known as CPR, on an adult whose heart has stopped beating, they’re told to administer 2-inch sternum compressions (between the nipples) at a rate of around 100 beats per minute (bpm). That’s a little less than twice a second, and can be hard to approximate. So thank goodness for pop music.

“Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees is a classic example of a song that hits that 100 bpm benchmark (and has obvious connotations to the task at hand). Ditto Gloria Gaynor’s breakup anthem, “I Will Survive.” Looking for something a little less on the nose? Try Hanson’s mega-hit “MMMBop.” All of those tracks appear on a 100-bpm playlist released this week by New York Presbyterian Hospital.

And if you dig reverse psychology, there’s Norman Greenbaum’s evergreen “Spirit in the Sky” — and Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.”

(Via Fark.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    24 March 2017 · 6:11 pm

    I dunno, I think “Stayin’ Alive” is probably the most appropriate for that. (I love “I Will Survive” as a song, but have an easier time remembering the beat of “Stayin’ Alive”)

    I really need to re-up my CPR certification. They were gonna do it on campus in concert with teaching us to use the defibrillators that were supposed to be installed, but that never seems to have materialized.

    I’m not sure I could pick “MMMBop” out of a line-up.

  2. CGHill »

    24 March 2017 · 6:12 pm

    It’s this one.

  3. McG »

    25 March 2017 · 9:48 am

    If somebody starts humming “Spirit in the Sky” while giving me CPR, I’m taking them with me.

  4. CGHill »

    25 March 2017 · 12:11 pm

    But will you go to the place that’s the best?

  5. McG »

    25 March 2017 · 2:19 pm

    By definition, no — because they arrived with me.

  6. Music Throwback: I Will Survive | Ramblin' with Roger »

    5 April 2017 · 5:46 am

    […] Gloria Gaynor: here or here (official), who can save your life […]

RSS feed for comments on this post