Want to make CPR easier? Just perform chest compressions to the beat of the Bee Gees hit, "Stayin' Alive"
In the imaginary world of being a CPR hero, you’re out one night when nearby, someone collapses and a panicky bystander cries out, “Does anyone here know CPR?”
Happily, you rush forward to offer assistance (you once took a CPR course). Everyone moves aside for you to administer the “kiss of life” to that collapsed gorgeous babe or hunk (whatever your imaginary preference).
The reality of CPR is often quite different, however. The kind of person most likely to require CPR after a sudden heart attack is very likely going to be elderly, significantly overweight, a smoker, someone who may have consumed a great amount of alcohol that evening, and so on.
The Simple Difficulty of CPR
So, it’s no wonder that when it comes to the thought of performing CPR, most people are wary of the prospect of giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. On top of that widespread psychic concern, there’s also this key problem involved in doing mouth-to-mouth: It’s very hard for most (actually all) of us to focus equally intensely on two simple and routine tasks at the same time.
It’s not hard to imagine that most of us find it very hard to focus equal effort and attention on the twin tasks involved in CPR, especially, of course, during a period of such sudden and great stress.
Bottom line: People are generally reluctant to perform mouth-to-mouth, and even when they do it, they often don’t do it right.
The Bee Gees' Guide to CPR
For those and other reasons, many organizations that promote CPR now recommend that, in most circumstances, you simply focus all your efforts on doing chest compressions alone. To make that task even easier, you don’t even have to think about the rhythm to use. Just do the compressions to the beat of that great Bee Gees tune, “Stayin’ Alive.” (Sorry about the earworm, but it’s what those organizations advise doing.)
Final comment: You’re getting old. Yes, you. And so are your friends. It might come in very handy one day for you to know CPR, so take a course soon.
Dr. Art Hister is a medical writer and health analyst for Global TV.