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Saving Lives with Music: How these tunes are being taught in harmony with CPR certification

Saving Lives with Music: How these tunes are being taught in harmony with CPR certification

Photo of Greta

by Greta Kviklyte

Life Saver, AMC
Co-authored by Kim Murray, RN, M.S.

posted on Sep 30, 2015, at 9:41 pm


CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION, OR CPR, has to be performed in quick repetition in order to be effective, and is typically taught to be practiced at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.

You may be thinking what I’m thinking, “How do I know what 100 compressions per minute even looks and feels like?”

Well, you’re not alone on this one. Understanding how to perform CPR, especially during the stressful moments of an emergency situation, can feel nearly impossible to some. Because of this, medical professionals and health care providers have been trained to perform CPR to the beat of the popular disco tune “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees (ironic, right?) In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) actually recommends performing CPR to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” on their Hands-Only CPR website and even created a video campaign featuring Ken Jeong!


Researchers from the University of Illinois College of Medicine tested out a similar tune with a study reported by NBC News, which looked at 10 doctors and five medical students. Doctors and students performed CPR while listening to the disco tune “Saturday Night Fever”. Researchers found that not only did they all perform CPR perfectly, but they also remembered the technique with perfection even five weeks after the study was conducted.

100 bpm = 100 compressions per 60 seconds

You get the drift. Stayin’ Alive is a popular, older, American song, but what about people who may not be American or familiar with the song? Fortunately, there are tons of songs in our modern world of music today that can aid in the performance of CPR with roughly 100 bpm. Below, we’ve listed some our favorites according to the genre.

Lifesaving songs you can practice CPR certification with

Country: Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynard
Pop: Rock Your Body by Justin Timberlake
Rock: Gives You Hell by All American Rejects
Latino: Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira
R&B: Crazy In Love by Beyoncé
Hip Hop: Get Low by Lil Jon

Doing something rather than nothing

Despite the fact that CPR certification is becoming more accessible and easier to learn, especially with online CPR certification, about 70 percent of Americans still feel helpless when witness to a cardiac emergency because they either do not have CPR certification or simply do not remember the material. The AHA states that only 32 percent of victims in an out-of-hospital cardiac emergency actually receive CPR training.

The problem is obvious: some people aren’t doing anything. Not because people don’t want to be helpless, but because CPR certification has been a burden in the past. Typical classroom CPR certification can take an entire weekend, can be expensive and may not be accessible to laypersons.

With modern technology, CPR certification is now available online through massive open learning courses, or MOOCs. Online training is aimed towards helping all become CPR certified, as anyone and everyone can and should be certified.

So, make yourself a “life-saving playlist!” and share it with your friends and family, you never know whose life you might end up saving!

Do you have a favorite 100 bpm track you like to keep in mind? Share your favorites below in the comments.

About Greta

Greta is a dedicated life saver and a distinguished expert in the field of medical content creation and editing. Her impressive array of certifications in ACLS, CPR, PALS, and BLS underscores her commitment to excellence in the medical field. With over four years of invaluable experience in medical education, Greta plays an indispensable role within the Advanced Medical Certification team, shaping the way healthcare professionals around the world acquire and apply vital knowledge.

Greta's profound expertise serves as the driving force behind the development and distribution of medical content that has significantly enhanced the capabilities of countless healthcare practitioners across the globe.

In addition to her medical qualifications, Greta holds a prestigious academic distinction in Marketing and Global Business from Vilnius University. Her academic journey has been enriched by immersive studies in Slovakia and Portugal during her time as an exchange student, providing her with a global perspective that complements her medical expertise.

Beyond her professional commitments, Greta possesses a genuine passion for global exploration, with a particular focus on immersing herself in diverse cultures and appreciating the intricacies of the natural world. While residing in Vilnius, Lithuania, she continues to make substantial contributions to the field of medical education, leaving an indelible mark on the sector.

Reach out to Greta at


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