Bee Gee-Whiz: ‘Staying Alive’ Saves Lives


If you think traditional cardiopulmonary resuscitation — CPR with chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing — is the only way to potentially save a life, think again.

video_screen_grab_1 450sizeAnd while you’re at it, hum what is arguably the most memorable disco tune ever recorded: “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees. The American Heart Association (AHA) is urging everyone to learn “hands-only” CPR, without mouth-to-mouth.

Its video, “Two Steps to Staying Alive with Hand-Only CPR,” shows how it’s done in 91 seconds. No certification is required, as with traditional CPR.

The first step is to call 9-1-1. The second step is to perform chest compressions to the beat of “Staying Alive” until an ambulance arrives.

The general goal: 100 compressions per minute.

lynanne_screen_grab450sizeLynAnne Walden, Ascension Seton director of Education/Development of Diagnostics & Therapeutics and Network Resuscitation Programs as well as an AHA Training Center coordinator, helped publicize hands-only CPR in an interview on daily Rx News, a video news publisher of health information for consumers and patients.

“Music is a great way to learn – and retain that knowledge,” Walden states in the daily Rx report. “Ninety percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims die, but if CPR is performed immediately it can double or nearly triple a victim’s chance of survival

About 70 percent of all sudden cardiac arrests happen outside of a hospital setting, in people’s homes and in the community, according to the AHA. With every minute that passes without intervention, survival rates drop by as much as 10 percent.

“Many people feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR,” Walden told dailyRx News. “However, cardiac arrest remains a leading cause of death in the United States, and survival depends upon the victim immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby.”

Only about 39 percent of people who experience out-of-hospital heart attacks receive proper help before professional help arrives, according to the AHA.

Walden and the AHA hope that the catchy video will increase the number of people willing to perform this lifesaving action in an emergency.