Popular 70’s song could help with CPR success

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (NBC) — By the time you hear the ambulance, it's likely too late for victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

They need immediate CPR to keep blood flowing to the heart and brain, but the majority of people standing around when someone collapses lack the confidence to take action.

"The way to build that confidence is to make the process as simple as possible," says Alson Inaba, M.D.

Dr. Alson Inaba of the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Hawaii was the one who came up with such a simple idea, and it's since revolutionized the world of CPR.

"If you just hum that song, you know, ah ah ah ah stayin alive, as you push on the chest, you can save a life," says Inaba.

Dr. Inaba says that calling 911 and then pushing hard and fast on the center of a victim's chest to the beat of that famous Bee Gee's song "Stayin' Alive" can double or triple that person's chance of survival.

That's it. No complicated breathing necessary.

According to a new study, this hands only approach led to better survival rates and better neurological functioning in victims of sudden cardiac arrest than conventional CPR.

And anyone can do it.

"So far, I've trained 411 people in hands only CPR," says Tommy Watson.

Tommy Watson made teaching hands only CPR his mission after witnessing an elderly man collapse.

"Out of over a hundred adults at this soccer game I was at, only one person knew CPR," says Watson.

The hope is that if more people know they can use their hands only, they're less likely to be hands off.

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