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"Another One Bites the Dust" also works, but is counterintuitive.
August 31, 2013 5:18 PM   Subscribe

Several years ago, the American Heart Association was looking for a song with 100 beats per minute to help instruct people in Hands-Only CPR. They found their song in the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive". Here is "Community" star (and licensed M.D.) Ken Jeong to show you how its done (Bonus Behind-the-scenes video here).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (72 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
(Yeah, "Another One Bites the Dust" is definitely the way I learned it back when I was an EMT. I guess gallows humor is off-message?)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 5:28 PM on August 31, 2013 [9 favorites]


Interesting! Thanks for posting. It reminded me that I've been curious about why it seems like you don't see mouth-to-mouth breathing recommended for CPR anymore. So I looked it up, and turns out, you do hands-only if you see the victim collapse, and mouth-to-mouth if you find someone who may have been without oxygen for several minutes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:35 PM on August 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nice to hear about an instance of science, observation, not clinging to fixed thoughts and music licensing coming together to save peoples' lives.
posted by bleep at 5:43 PM on August 31, 2013


A similar ad campaign aired in the uk approximately 100 times a day last year. According to the BHF it's saved several lives.
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 5:44 PM on August 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


Our CPR trainer at work loves to teach us the "Stayin' Alive" method. He really works it.
posted by acrasis at 5:45 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Ice, Ice Baby" saves more lives, but THEY don't want you to know that.
posted by Renoroc at 5:45 PM on August 31, 2013 [13 favorites]


I just renewed my CPR training last week, and it would have been much more fun with videos like these. It seems that over here in Japan, they're sticking with the push-and-breathe method, but the trainer did say that if you needed to choose one (say the victim's mouth is bleeding or there's some other reason you can't to mouth-to-mouth), then chest compression is really the most vital part. They review CPR practices every 5 years here, so I expect it'll continue to move the focus to pushing hard and fast.

Now if only they'd incorporate disco and light gallows humor...
posted by MShades at 5:52 PM on August 31, 2013


It seems that over here in Japan, they're sticking with the push-and-breathe method, but the trainer did say that if you needed to choose one (say the victim's mouth is bleeding or there's some other reason you can't to mouth-to-mouth), then chest compression is really the most vital part.

As I understand it (going off something I vaguely remember reading), it's not so much that the breaths are pointless, but that if telling people to do chest compressions (which are less intimidating and easier to get right, I think) gets more people to actually perform CPR when need arises, that more than compensates for the lack of breaths in aggregate.
posted by hoyland at 5:56 PM on August 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Pump away. But I'm adding a clause in my DNR in the event someone starts singing this.
posted by hal9k at 5:57 PM on August 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ken Jeong is an M.D.? Man, I really underestimated that guy!
posted by gkhan at 6:01 PM on August 31, 2013


Rejected, runner-up songs:

BPM / Title / Artist
102.0 / Safety Dance / Men Without Hats
101.0 / Back to Life / Soul II Soul
100.5 / Dancing Queen / ABBA
100.5 / Sunday Bloody Sunday / U2
99.2 / Hip Hop Hooray / Naughty By Nature
99.0 / Shoop / Salt 'N' Pepa

But seriously, anything that improves CPR training is awesome news.
posted by ceribus peribus at 6:03 PM on August 31, 2013 [11 favorites]


1,039 alternatives.
posted by skbw at 6:11 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


1,039 alternatives.

It's hard to beat "Stayin' Alive" for an appropriate CPR lyric, but Ben Harper's "We Can't End This Way" is good, too.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:15 PM on August 31, 2013


The research did show that up until the ten minute mark, breathing wasn't really adding anything that interrupting compressions was worth. So yeah, unless you have a kit for intubations handy, there's really no need for rescue breathing. Plus, nobody was willing to do it.

I'll save my "actual usefulness of CPR vs. Public perception" rant for another day.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 6:36 PM on August 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


Additional rejected runner-up songs:

Mariah Carey—Heartbreaker

UB40—C'est La Vie

Run-D.M.C.—Back From Hell
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:37 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


The CPR musical accompaniment question was also covered in a part of a RadioLab short a few years ago. They come down on the side of Queen, as all right thinking people ought to.
posted by just_ducky at 6:46 PM on August 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


um, they don't actually play this song while they perform real CPR, do they?

BECAUSE IT WOULD BE MORE THAN FUCKING HORRIBLE TO HAVE THE LAST FUCKING SONG YOU EVER HEAR TO BE "UH, UH, UH, STAYIN' ALIVE, STAYIN' ALIVE"

i'm just saying
posted by pyramid termite at 7:02 PM on August 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


Or singing both "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Staying Alive" in alternating sequence. Makes for a decent mashup, appropriate at a car accident.
posted by stbalbach at 7:05 PM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you don't break ribs -- you're not doing it right.
posted by Alles at 7:09 PM on August 31, 2013 [13 favorites]


"Highway to Hell" is 116 BPM, in case anyone else is wondering. (They say anything from 100-130 bpm is close enough)
posted by ceribus peribus at 7:11 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was really hoping that the theme to Third Watch (sadly off the air) which follows the NYPD and FDNY was going to meet the BPM criteria. Its a little too fast though. Its still in my head when rolling out on a call (I'm an EMT). But hey - its got a totally relevant song title... Keep Hope Alive (by Crystal Method)
posted by blaneyphoto at 7:12 PM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you don't break ribs -- you're not doing it right.

If you break ribs you're too low, no?
posted by cjorgensen at 7:24 PM on August 31, 2013



If you break ribs you're too low, no?

No. Ribs go all the way up.
posted by Alles at 7:27 PM on August 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


If I never hear/feel that sound again it would be too soon. People who code rarely have the strongest bones in the first place by virtue of sheer demographics. I can't imagine how much pain it must be.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 7:31 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ken Jeong is a truly delightful and amazing human being. I could watch that man in anything. And yes, he not only is an M.D. but still treats patients in order to maintain his license.

"Ice, Ice Baby" saves more lives, but THEY don't want you to know that.

Under Pressure motherfucker
posted by kafziel at 7:42 PM on August 31, 2013 [9 favorites]


After quite a few years of CPR training with Staying Alive as a reference, I can't hear the song anymore without thinking of CPR first. I suppose that's not a bad thing.
posted by Chanther at 7:43 PM on August 31, 2013


BECAUSE IT WOULD BE MORE THAN FUCKING HORRIBLE TO HAVE THE LAST FUCKING SONG YOU EVER HEAR TO BE "UH, UH, UH, STAYIN' ALIVE, STAYIN' ALIVE"

I respectfully disagree.
posted by kenko at 7:51 PM on August 31, 2013


As a wimp with no sense of rhythm, the puck and backboard that reports your rate and depth is a real eye opener. With a little adrenaline going and things going on, keeping a beat in your head is tough.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:00 PM on August 31, 2013


Nothing says tenacity and perseverance like these 114 bpm.
posted by kengraham at 8:00 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I imagine going hard and fast is more important than really keeping a beat. As long as the blood is bringing oxygen to the brain it'll do til something better comes along. I thought the song was to help you go fast enough.
posted by bleep at 8:05 PM on August 31, 2013


That's what she said?

I'm so sorry. I'll show myself out.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 8:08 PM on August 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


If I had Staying Alive in my mind I'd want death to come soon. Love Crystal Method's Keep Hope Alive (miss Third Watch, too) and Another One Bites the Dust would make me laugh, laugh, laugh. Laughter is the best medicine, right?
posted by maggieb at 8:08 PM on August 31, 2013


Totally doesn't meet the BPM requirements, but should be required listening/watch just for the info and humor... Happy Days, Pump Your Blood.
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:12 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Everyone in here has commented on the goofy song and that's great -- it's stuck in your mind, it's an earworm that maybe you'll hear when someone is slumped in front of you.

But -- note that the first thing they emphasized is: Call 911. And only after calling 911, then CPR.

And everything I've seen emphasizes Call 911 then CPR while waiting for EMS to show, rather than slinging the person into your car and hustling them to the ER, as the CPR will keep enough oxygen moving to cover until the EMS techs get there, and they'll know much more what to do Next, plus have the tools to do it, to save the persons life, to get them back kicking.
posted by dancestoblue at 8:27 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


But -- note that the first thing they emphasized is: Call 911. And only after calling 911, then CPR.
posted by dancestoblue


Yep, that's the right first step. One notable omission is the "where is the AED?" Its becoming far more common for that to be a standard thing in public places these days and is really what's going to do the bulk of the actual lifesaving if used promptly.
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:41 PM on August 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


In a similar vein, the other day I discovered that The Beatles' "I'm So Tired" is a pretty good tune to jog to.
posted by usonian at 8:54 PM on August 31, 2013


I made a mash-up of "Stayin' Alive" and "Another One Bites the Dust". I call it The CPR Song.
posted by hooha at 8:57 PM on August 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


first thing they emphasized is: Call 911.

Agreed; I was taught that if someone collapses and there's a group of people around, first single someone out - "You! Call 911!" - and then start CPR, and keep harassing the caller to dial the damn phone - "Now! Now! Call!" - as you start the compressions.
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:57 PM on August 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Previously - - Super Sexy CPR.
posted by fairmettle at 10:19 PM on August 31, 2013


One notable omission is the "where is the AED?"

Another is "is the scene safe"? That would've gotten you flunked in most of my classes through the years...
posted by rollbiz at 10:25 PM on August 31, 2013


Another is "is the scene safe"? That would've gotten you flunked in most of my classes through the years...
posted by rollbiz


Indeed. I guess with my years in EMS, some things just become assumed!
posted by blaneyphoto at 10:33 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


1,039 alternatives.

Thanks, I always wanted a catalogue of how far pop producers' capacitors were drifting in the 80s (and the 90s, and the 00s).
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:33 PM on August 31, 2013


Indeed. I guess with my years in EMS, some things just become assumed!

Sorry if I worded that weirdly. I meant if someone had missed it, they'd get flunked, not you specifically... :)

posted by rollbiz at 10:37 PM on August 31, 2013


"Highway to Hell" is 116 BPM, in case anyone else is wondering.
I was.
posted by qinn at 11:04 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Another is "is the scene safe"? That would've gotten you flunked in most of my classes through the years...

The script goes -

*pantomime looking around* THE SCENE IS SAFE!

*point dramatically at classmate* YOU! CALL 911!"

Then we approach the half mannequin on the table with the plastic bag lung rubberbanded to the back which has replaced the always-grubby Rescusi Annie doll and do the thing.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:15 PM on August 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


(I always do Another One Bites the Dust. Even if the instructor says Stayin' Alive.)
posted by louche mustachio at 11:16 PM on August 31, 2013


One line of thinking on the compressions with breathing cycle is that the average person can't do compression for 6 to 8 minutes straight. A few seconds rest every thirty second "set" allowed people to last longer, at least according to the RC folks I got training from.
posted by bonehead at 11:26 PM on August 31, 2013


Had this conversation with a British doctor trained in the 1960s. Their song was Nellie the Elephant.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:32 PM on August 31, 2013


1,039 alternatives.

I think they should go with "I'm Not Moving" by Phil Collins.
posted by pracowity at 11:55 PM on August 31, 2013


The video is great, as is the song choice.

One thing that rarely gets discussed, though, is that a CPR volunteer should manage their expectations. The survival rate of outside-of-hospital CPR recipients is around 8%, and full recovery is closer to 3%.

So if you do everything right, the person you're helping is still very likely to die. I feel like that would be something you should prepare for.

Sources: CNN, MSN, Google
posted by LEGO Damashii at 12:04 AM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I didn't know they stuffed an mp3 player into an AED these days...
posted by DreamerFi at 12:10 AM on September 1, 2013


seriously, there are so many of these utterly useful devices around here in NL these days it's hard to swing a cat and not hit one. life savers, for sure!
posted by DreamerFi at 12:11 AM on September 1, 2013


Had this conversation with a British doctor trained in the 1960s. Their song was Nellie the Elephant.

This is the only version of Nellie The Elephant worthwhile, though you should probably not use the slow bits if performing CPR.
posted by nonspecialist at 12:51 AM on September 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


One notable omission is the "where is the AED?"

More importantly, "where's the guy with the keys to the AED" as e.g. in Amsterdam Central Station they had to be locked down to stop wankers from abusing or stealing them.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:32 AM on September 1, 2013


He looks amazing in the cream and black outfit! It so suits him. And I love that they are all nodding their heads to the track. Wide collar shirts ftw.
posted by marienbad at 2:29 AM on September 1, 2013


BECAUSE IT WOULD BE MORE THAN FUCKING HORRIBLE TO HAVE THE LAST FUCKING SONG YOU EVER HEAR TO BE "UH, UH, UH, STAYIN' ALIVE, STAYIN' ALIVE"

Au contraire. I'd drag myself back from the pearly gates just to join in. Preferably rousing myself right at the "staying aliiiiiiiiiiive" part for maximum omigod it's a miracle effect.

Also, I'm so glad they wrote "call 911" and "push hard" across the tits of some blonde girls, otherwise I might have missed it.
posted by billiebee at 4:45 AM on September 1, 2013


Hey, if you don't think Another One Bites The Dust is appropriate, there is always an alternative.
posted by Sphinx at 4:47 AM on September 1, 2013


My previous AskMe on this topic.
posted by TedW at 5:59 AM on September 1, 2013


It seems to me that a lot of the CPR love is based on a pretty creepy view that the most important thing in the universe is to keep breathing for as many years, months, weeks, days, hours, or minutes as possible... regardless of how brain damaged you are.

If you see me keel over, you can MAYBE do CPR on me. If you walk up to me and I probably haven't been breathing for minutes, I sure as hell don't want you to do it. And I suspect that, among people who know a little about it, my view isn't so uncommon. So I'm not so sure it's something that should be pushed for every case.
posted by Hizonner at 6:35 AM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


LEGO Damashii: One thing that rarely gets discussed, though, is that a CPR volunteer should manage their expectations. The survival rate of outside-of-hospital CPR recipients is around 8%, and full recovery is closer to 3%.

So if you do everything right, the person you're helping is still very likely to die. I feel like that would be something you should prepare for.


And I don't. As a society we have enough problems getting people to perform CPR when it's appropriate, so planting seeds of doubt about its utility is irresponsible.

The other thing is that the statistics can be very deceiving. How you perform CPR matters, and the stats don't tell us anything about the individual circumstances. What's the age distribution of the cohort? How many were seriously injured? How was the CPR performed, and perhaps as important, for how long?

For any given case, you simply can't know whether it will help or not, and it's not up to you to decide. A half-hearted attempt is the same as no attempt at all.

As a rescuer in an emergency, thinking about the odds and the possible emotional impact it may have on you is a luxury you don't have. So when a person needs help, you or someone else calls 911 (or 999, or 112, or the operator depending on where in the world you are), you roll up your sleeves, and you start pumping as though your life depended on it. Someone else's sure as hell does.
posted by rhombus at 7:24 AM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


The idea that you can basically lie to people to get them to do what you want is disgusting. The idea that you can get away from playing the odds on anything in life is dangerous wishful thinking. And the idea that doing CPR on a person isn't just as much making a decision for that person as not doing it is dumb.
posted by Hizonner at 7:42 AM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


For any marching band members or enthusiasts, almost all of Sousa's marches are 120 bpm. 'Stars and Stripes Forever' would make some rousing CPR accompaniment.
posted by Fig at 7:44 AM on September 1, 2013


I kind of know what you're saying, Hizonner, but this isn't an attack on euthanasia or taking away a dying person's autonomy. This is about trying to help someone else who is in trouble and in all probability would like to stay alive. My own personal stance is to do all in my power to help save the life of a fellow human who appears to need help, and ask questions later.
posted by billiebee at 8:29 AM on September 1, 2013


It's been a long time since I had CPR training, but shouldn't "make sure their heart isn't still beating" be in there somewhere?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:34 AM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Alternative.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:37 AM on September 1, 2013


I don't think it's really a question of autonomy. One thing you can be sure about with an unconscious person is that they've already lost autonomy. Whoever decides what gets done or not done, it's not gonna be them. It's not possible to give them any autonomy at that point unless you have advance instructions.

The real question is the "in all probability would like to stay alive".

If it were a question of "dead" versus "in great shape", then obviously almost anybody would go for "in great shape". But in a lot of these cases, it's either a question of "dead now" versus "dead not much later after spending that time intubated in an ICU", or of "dead" versus "alive with serious brain damage". You don't always know what kind of case you're dealing with, and you almost never know for SURE what kind of case you're dealing with.

If given the information the responder has (or should have), it's not obvious to me that the person in question would "in all probability" want to go there. Why do you believe that it's probable that most CPR recipients would actually give informed consent, in some magic world where you could ask them and they really had all the information?

I'm not going to fault people who do CPR, but I'm also not going to fault people who don't. If I could somehow magically have my own wishes about whether to do it on me, they would be "don't", in more realistic cases than not. So I'm kind of touchy about people assuming that nobody would go that way.
posted by Hizonner at 9:02 AM on September 1, 2013


Why do you believe that it's probable that most CPR recipients would actually give informed consent

I wouldn't be able to know that in the moment, and I really do take your point. But I would rather try and save someone who didn't want saved, than not to try and save someone who did want it. I would really rather not make the "look, you might end up on a life support machine so it's better for you if you die now" decision for a stranger.
posted by billiebee at 9:28 AM on September 1, 2013


And somehow all of this results in Mr. Incredible going into hiding.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:31 AM on September 1, 2013


At least in my part of the world, performing CPR on an unresponsive individual has implied consent. In Canada, (almost) every province will not hold someone liable for doing CPR in good faith. You can argue the ethics of it, but legally, it's pretty clear. It's the first thing covered in every first aid course I've ever taken.

I'd further argue that a 3% to 8% is not negligible. In the US, there are about 375,000 sudden cardiac arrests (rapid onset, not just slow-moving heart attacks) every year, almost 90% of which happen at home. That level of success is on the order of 20,000 potential lives saved every year.
posted by bonehead at 10:41 AM on September 1, 2013


The 3% and 8% numbers given above were not an increase in survival rates- it was that only 3% of all CPR recipients make a "full recovery" and 8% survive, but with diminished function.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 9:14 PM on September 1, 2013


Anecdata: a friend almost drowned two weeks ago and someone performed CPR and saved his life and he is very glad that they did the CPR.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:58 PM on September 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


As usual, the Brits have beaten everybody to it. Vinnie Jones shows how it's done.

"We need a volunteer dat ain't breavin'... Here's one I made earlier."
posted by rhombus at 11:30 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


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