Song can help you save someone's life

November 7, 2008 4:31:50 PM PST
The nation's emergency room doctors said bystander CPR isn't very effective in saving people who collapse with a heart attack. They say it's not being done right, and in many cases, not being done at all. But we have an easy way you can remember how to perform CPR the right way.

Who would have thought John Travolta strutting to 'Stayin Alive' might actually help someone stay alive!

"We really want to see people do compressions at 100 beats per minute," said Dr Richard Bradley with the UT Houston Emergency Medicine Department.

And the song 'Staying Alive' has about 100 beats per minute, as well.

If you do compressions too fast or too slow, they may not work. And now more than ever, good bystander CPR is needed. A new survey of emergency room physicians found people aren't staying alive because others can't or won't do CPR.

"People came into the ER every day and they can't get their hearts restarted after they stopped or if they can get them restarted, they can't get them to survive to be discharged from the hospital," said Dr. Bradley. "And that's because we don't have enough people doing CPR outside the hospital."

"We all kind of see Danny as guardian angel," said Doug Bowerman, whose heart was restarted with CPR after a massive heart attack at 38.

"I heard a big crash," said Danny Rawson, who performed CPR on Doug. "Doug was back there and Doug was on the floor."

Rawson, a co-worker of Bowerman. had taken CPR in college, hoping for an easy course.

"I think that's the amazing thing," he said. "It just kinda comes back to you or it did."

Rawson's CPR and good emergency treatment saved Bowerman's life.

"I'm a very lucky person," said Bowerman. "I count my blessings every day."

To make CPR even more simple, experts now say just do chest compressions; don't worry about the rescue breathing.

"We know the chest compression is the most important part now, what American Heart's been pushing and emergency medicine is pushing is just do the CPR," said Dr. James McCarthy with Memorial Hermann.

"It was a really good feeling to know that you were able to help that individual," said Rawson.

And now, humming 'Staying Alive' may help that CPR rhythm "stay" in your memory.

If you would like information on CPR training courses, contact the American Red Cross website.

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