Stayin’ alive (literally).
For many people, music provides a safe space for them to express themselves. In this way, music saves lives. But at New York Presbyterian Hospital, music’s lifesaving qualities come from a song’s beat itself.
One of the most important first aid procedures is cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. During CPR, the rescuer compresses the victim’s chest around 100 times per minute, literally beating the person’s heart for them until a trained professional arrives.
As you can imagine, keeping up the beat is tough when the stakes are high and your adrenaline is flowing.
A simple way to ensure you’re pumping at regular, correct intervals is to follow along with a song that runs at 100 beats per minute. For quite some time, first aid experts used “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees to teach amateurs how to properly perform CPR.
However, New York Presbyterian Hospital has expanded the collection of songs that run at 100 beats per minute and created a playlist curating them all.
Along with the Bee Gees’ classic, the 40-song list includes “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, “Work It” by Missy Elliott and “Float On” by Modest Mouse. The variety in the playlist means there’s at least one song you know well.
If CPR still sounds daunting, here’s actor Vinnie Jones explaining it in detail.
One of the worst things that can happen during an emergency is something called The Bystander Effect. This is when all the people surrounding a victim choose not to help because they think someone else will.
So if you find yourself in a situation in which someone’s heart has stopped, don’t chicken out. Just think about your favorite songs and lose yourself in the beat.