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How a Gloria Gaynor Song Could Help You Save a Life


Remembering the beat and lyrics to Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” could allow you to help someone survive a heart attack.

Gaynor’s popular disco anthem from the late ’70s is one of more than two dozen songs on Memorial Medical Center’s CPR playlist on Spotify. The playlist is one of five song lists under @ChooseMemorial on Spotify.

Any of the easily remembered songs can help you learn to keep pace in a stressful cardiac situation whether you train for CPR certification, are CPR-certified or just want to remember the compression for hands-only CPR, said Paula Harwood, a registered nurse and manager for cardiopulmonary rehabilitation at Memorial Medical Center.

Compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 beats per minute are ideal, the American Heart Association says, and they’re the same tempo rate as many popular songs.

Each year, more than 350,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital. Early intervention by CPR and defibrillation can save lives, Harwood says.

A person is in cardiac arrest when the heart stops beating. Performing CPR helps to circulate blood and provide oxygen throughout the body.

CPR requires formal training, certification and includes mouth-to-mouth breaths, while hands-only CPR can be done by the public by pushing hard and fast on the center of the chest of a person in cardiac arrest.

Regardless of the type of CPR, when someone is in cardiac arrest, the first step is to call or ask someone to call 9-1-1 immediately.

When a teenager or adult collapses because of cardiac arrest at home, school, work or elsewhere in the community and a defibrillator is not available, CPR can save that person’s life. Anyone can save a life – regardless of formal training – by remembering to push hard and fast at the beat of one of the songs on the playlist.

Other songs on the CPR playlist include “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé and JAY Z and “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. At the top of the playlist? “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, naturally.

Other Memorial playlists on Spotify are for exercisers who want to increase their heart rate, exercisers who want to cool down after a workout, women in labor and lullabies for babies.

The Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation at 228 W. Miller St. regularly hosts certification courses. For more information, visit