Different Change of Pace: Heart Health CPR

by Irwin Lengel

Did you know that music has been used over the years for medical training? I just learned that certain songs – namely “Stayin' Alive” by the Bee Gees has the right beat (the name of the song isn't too shabby either) for providing CPR's chest compressions at the right pace to revive someone in need of CPR.

It is true – this hit song of the 70's has a rhythm of 103 beats per minute (bpm). The recommended rate is at least 100 chest compressions per 60 seconds when talking about providing CPR to a patient. And for many of us that were around in the 70's, we are quite familiar with both the movie, the song, and the actor – John Travolta. As a result, should you ever come across a person needing CPR and can remember the song, chances are that you would be able to perform satisfactory CPR on the person quite possibly saving their lives in the process.

I recently read that the American Heart Association (AHA) actually recommends that if you are ever in the vicinity of someone that collapses, first thing you should do is call 9-1-1 but then after having done that, you should push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of this classic disco song “Stayin Alive.” As a matter of fact, the AHA has even depicted the act in an educational music video featuring none other than: Ken Jeong (best known for his lead role in the ABC sitcom Dr. Ken in which he is also the creator, writer and executive producer).

Another song that would do but the title isn't as appropriate (given what we are being asked to do when singing this song) is the song by Queen entitled: “Another One Bites the Dust!” But.......it would work. I guess it is a matter of choice although my guess is that “Stayin' Alive” would be the more appropriate choice.

For those wanting to read more on this subject (primarily the material re the “Stayin' Alive” song) – you can visit the following website as that is where I obtained much of this information from:


What follows are just a few lyrics from each song – these lyrics (as does the entire song) provide the number of beats that coincide with what is needed to properly compress the heart during CPR.

Lyrics to Stayin' Alive

And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive

Lyrics to Another One Bites the Dust

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust

Until next time!

Comments for Different Change of Pace: Heart Health CPR

Click here to add your own comments

90 Yr old Chinese Man dancing
by: Ken San Diego

Look at this 90 yr old Chinese Man dancing to "Stayin ALive"


quick heart helps
by: Anonymous

Chewing on an aspirin if you or the person needing it can is very immediate and helpful.

Personally I would not want 911 called for me, all those sirens would give me a heart attack.

Wendy: You MUST call 911. Don't even TRY to get to the hospital -- BIG mistake. You can tell them NO SIRENS, we did that for my mom, once. But Please-- if you think you are having a heart attack, you must call for help!

by: Anonymous

As a psych. College student in the the early studies, I always remembered a study of mental patients. They seemed to have improved more when classical music was played throughout the day compared to talking to their shrink. Just an observation.

Wendy: I saw a video on this recently! It was Alzheimers patient, didn't speak, but when someone played music, the person "came alive". The powe of music!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Irwin's Blog.