Page last updated at 06:39 GMT, Sunday, 19 October 2008 07:39 UK

Bee Gees hit could save your life

Bee Gees (1998)
The Bee Gees were one of the best-selling music groups of all time

US medics have found the Bee Gees' 1977 hit Stayin' Alive is an ideal beat to follow to perform chest compressions on a victim of a cardiac arrest.

Research says it contains 103 beats per minute, close to the recommended rate of 100 chest compressions per minute.

An author of the study said many people were put off performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)as they were not sure about keeping the correct rhythm.

He said CPR could triple cardiac arrest survival rates when performed properly.

The study by the University of Illinois College of Medicine saw 15 doctors and students performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on mannequins while listening to Stayin' Alive. They were asked to time their chest compressions with the beat.

[Stayin' Alive] drove them and motivated them to keep up the rate, which is the most important thing
Dr David Matlock
University of Illinois

Five weeks later, they did the same drill without the music, but were told to think of the song while doing compressions.

The average number of compressions the first time was 109 per minute; the second time it was 113 - more than recommended by the American Heart Association, but better than too few, according to Dr Matlock.

"It drove them and motivated them to keep up the rate, which is the most important thing," he told the Associated Press.

A spokesman for the American Heart Association, Dr Vinay Nadkarni, said it had been using Stayin' Alive as a training tip for CPR instructors for about two years, although it was not aware of any previous studies that tested the song.


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