Evidently in the past, doctors have recommended performing CPR — the life-saving combination of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation — to the tempo of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” not because one performs best while picturing John Travolta swaggering down the streets of New York, but because its tempo is 103 beats per minute. But a new study published in the Emergency Medical Journal (via the BBC) says that is a dangerously bad idea.
Medical professionals — we repeat, medical professionals — compared the effectiveness of administering CPR to “Stayin’ Alive” to the benefits of doing it to the rhythm of Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” and Mirwais’ “Disco Science.” The result? “When considering the combined importance of correct depth and rate, the authors are unconvinced that music provides any benefit in improving the quality of CPR compared with a metronome or audible feedback, suggesting that this interesting but unproductive area of resuscitation research should be discontinued.”
In short, those performing CPR weren’t doing it fast enough or pressing deeply enough on patients’ chests while bopping to the hits of yesteryear. However the study’s lead author Malcolm Wollard pointed out, “Any form of CPR is better than none at all.”