February 29, 2024 1:36 pm

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From Beyoncé to ‘Baby Shark,’ the Right Tune Can Save a Life

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According to the American Heart Association, people feel more confident performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct chest-compression rate when trained to the beat of a familiar song. (9dreamstudio/Adobe Stock)
According to the American Heart Association, people feel more confident performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct chest-compression rate when trained to the beat of a familiar song. (9dreamstudio/Adobe Stock)

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 Farah Siddiqi, Producer

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Wednesday, August 23, 2023   

With popular artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift touring Michigan this summer, the American Heart Association is reminding people that some of their favorite songs are for more than singing along. They could actually help save a life. If you see someone collapse, the Heart Association’s advice is to call 911 – and begin compressions to the middle of the person’s chest, at the rate of 100 to 120 beats per minute. The beat of a memorable song can help keep you on track as you perform CPR.

Matt Johnson, communications director for the American Heart Association West Michigan, said they have a list to choose from with just the right beat – including Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love,” “The Man,” by Taylor Swift – and of course, the enduring 1977 hit “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.

“One that resonates if you have kiddos like me, is ‘Baby Shark’ – it’s just important for you to remember one of those songs and use that as a way, when you are performing hands-only CPR, to know that you have the right rhythm and the right pace to do those compressions so that they’re done correctly,” Johnson explained. 

The song list and a tutorial on how to do CPR can be found online at heart.org/en/nation-of-lifesavers.

This summer has seen more people out and about at festivals, concerts and at the pool. Johnson said the Heart Association’s goal has been to create what it calls a “Nation of Lifesavers,” by equipping more people with CPR skills. He adds the more quickly CPR can begin after someone collapses, the greater the possibility their life will be saved.

“Damar Hamlin is a football player for the Buffalo Bills who back in January was playing and his heart went out of rhythm and stopped beating and so medical personnel on the football field ran to his aid they performed hands only CPR and then they got an AED to get his heart beating again,” Johnson said. 

Last month, Damar Hamlin presented the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2023 ‘ESPYS’ to the Buffalo Bills training staff, who helped save his life after he collapsed during a football game in January.