When Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb of the BeeGees wrote “Stain’ Alive,” they probably never imagined that their disco hit would become an anthem used in CPR classes around the world. But at 104 beats per minute, the high tenor ballad we all know from Saturday Night Fever matches the tempo range of the American Heart Association’s recommended 100-200 chest compressions per minute in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, better known as CPR. With its catchy, memorable melody and chorus that reflects the mission of CPR, the song is a helpful teaching tool.
But CPR is about a lot more than busting out our disco moves. It’s about saving lives.
In the event of a heart attack, CPR can double or triple a victim’s survival rate. For every minute without CPR post-heart attack, the victim’s survival rate drops 7-10%. But 70% of Americans report feeling helpless to act during a cardiac emergency, in most cases because they have not been trained on this potentially lifesaving procedure. Have you?
If you’ve never been CPR trained, your reasons for not doing so may be varied. Maybe you’ve worried you would have to perform mouth-to-mouth on a total stranger. Maybe you’ve wanted to but just never made the time, or maybe you’ve never imagined the necessity of CPR arising in your own life.
If you’ve had these objections, there’s good news—and some sobering news. Studies have shown that hands-only CPR is as effective as mouth-to-mouth, and in 2008 the mouth-to-mouth requirement was done away with. (So no kissing strangers!)
And while we all hope to never have to use CPR, the reality is that heart disease remains the leading cause of death for Americans, with 715,000 heart attacks and 610,000 heart disease-related deaths occurring annually. We likely know someone who has had to use CPR on a loved one at some point. After all, around 80% of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the home. Taking a couple of hours on a Saturday to educate ourselves on something so simple yet so beneficial begins to seem a small sacrifice when we realize its life-saving potential.
So why not sign up to get CPR certified today? The American Heart Association offers CPR and First Aid training right here at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum in Tempe! Register online here for our upcoming class Saturday, March 25th–or if you are registering seven days or fewer before this event, please call the museum’s front desk at (602) 414-2800 to reserve your spot. You can also check out our calendar for all other training opportunities. Attendance is free for the first portion, which covers the techniques used in CPR. If you would like to be also trained in First Aid and receive CPR certification, a cost of $35 covers materials and certification. Please note that you will receive an email with instructions for some pre-class work if you choose to become certified.
(And finally, if it’s a secret disco phobia that’s kept you has kept you away from CPR training, never fear! These days, instructors are updating their CPR anthems from “Stayin’ Alive” to newer, faster-tempo pop songs. Perhaps your instructor will incorporate the latest Justin Timberlake, Shakira, or Katy Perry tune into your session. CPR is for everyone, old and young, experienced and inexperienced, disco lovers and top 40 rockers!)