The playlist, which was developed by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, collects songs that have a tempo between 100 and 120 beats per minute — the perfect pace for lifesaving chest compressions in case you have to perform CPR. It’s part of the hospital’s “hands only CPR” initiative, which seeks to raise awareness that you could save a life using just your hands. Contrary to popular belief, CPR can be performed without using mouth-to-mouth breathing.
If you see someone collapse and stop breathing, you can call for help, then start compressing the person’s chest at a rate of two compressions per second — about the beat of, say, Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Those chest compressions could be the difference between life and death.
According to the American Heart Association, fewer than half of people who experience cardiac arrest get help from a bystander before emergency professionals arrive. Bystander CPR can help increase the chances of survival, helping pump oxygenated blood through the patient’s arteries and keeping the brain and body alive.
The playlist isn’t meant to be played while you do the compressions, just to help you find a song to sing to yourself as you time each press of the hands.
Brushing up on what to do in an emergency now — even if it’s just grooving to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” or Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” — might help you and someone else the next time you face an emergency.
Instead of standing by or hesitating because you’re unsure, just hum a song like the Backstreet Boys’ “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” and start saving a life.