Songs With The Ideal Tempo For CPR : Shots - Health News A New York City hospital has created a playlist of songs with the ideal tempo for CPR, although previous research suggests there is more to good chest compressions than just the right tempo.

What Do Hanson And Madonna Have In Common? Hits Ideal For Saving A Life

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If you have a heart attack, the treatment may include the Backstreet Boys, the Bee Gees or Madonna. All these artists have songs with about the same tempo.


INSKEEP: There's the tempo, roughly 100 beats per minute. And NPR's Rebecca Herscher reports, that tempo can save lives.

REBECCA HERSHER, BYLINE: In 2009, Sonia Tolani saw a man collapse on the New York subway.

SONIA TOLANI: Oh, it was super crowded. It was, like, rush hour. So, you know, I just started doing CPR.

HERSHER: Tolani was training as a cardiologist at the time. She and another passenger traded off, kneeling over the guy giving hands-only CPR, which is what the American Heart Association recommends.

TOLANI: The main thing about CPR is maintaining, like, high-quality, fast compressions.

HERSHER: Between a hundred and 120 per minute.

TOLANI: It would be like, duh, duh, duh, duh. That would be it.

HERSHER: They did CPR for about 10 minutes until the train got to a station. And the man survived. And as the story got around, the hospital where Tolani worked, NewYork-Presbyterian, decided to make a playlist that would help everyone remember the right CPR tempo.


BEE GEES: (Singing) Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother, you're staying alive, staying alive. Feel the city breaking and everybody shaking, and we're staying alive, staying alive.

HERSHER: This is the first track, by the Bee Gees.

TOLANI: The songs really do help. If you sing "Staying Alive," you know, you're going to be there - it's like, ah, ah, ah, ah. That's it. That's the beat. That's how fast you want to go.


BEE GEES: (Singing) Ahh...

ALAINA PACIULLI: We wanted them to be songs that people already knew by heart.

HERSHER: Alaina Paciulli works for Seiden Advertising and helped choose the songs.


QUEEN: (Singing) Another one bites the dust.

PACIULLI: So that's why the - the list is pretty varied.


BARENAKED LADIES: (Singing) It's been one week since you looked at me, cocked your head to the side and said, I'm angry.

HERSHER: To be clear, this is not a playlist to go running for if you see someone have a heart attack. It's just meant to keep that perfect CPR tempo fresh in your mind in case. Past studies have suggested that listening to music while doing CPR is not helpful.

PACIULLI: You know, if you can save somebody's life while humming Missy Elliott's "Work It," then that's OK with us (laughter).


MISSY ELLIOTT: (Singing) Flip it and reverse it. (Unintelligible).

HERSHER: Right now, the playlist on spotify has about 3,000 followers. They're considering updating it with the latest hits. Rebecca Herscher, NPR News.


JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: (Singing) Don't be so quick to walk away.

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