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American Heart Association Teaches Americans the Two Simple Steps of Hands-OnlyTM CPR to the Beat of “Stayin’ Alive”

American Heart Association
News Release (AHA)

June 6, 2013  

$4.5 million grant from WellPoint Foundation supports nationwide campaign & ongoing CPR mobile tour

Do you know the two simple steps of Hands-OnlyTM CPR? Then you're ready to help save a life. In recognition of National CPR Awareness Week (June 3rd - June 8th), the American Heart Association and the WellPoint Foundation have teamed up to continue the national awareness campaign and ongoing mobile tour teaching Americans how to perform Hands-Only CPR to the beat of the Bee Gees' hit "Stayin' Alive."

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death with nearly 360,000 out-of-hospital cases occurring every year in the United States. When a teen or adult has a sudden cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby, especially since survival rates drop as much as 10% for every minute that goes by without intervention. The Bees Gees' hit song "Stayin' Alive" has more than 100 beats per minute, which is the rate you should push on the chest during Hands-Only CPR.

"A few years ago, when I was teaching a CPR class, it occurred to me that a familiar song's beat would be an easy and fun way for people to remember the correct rhythm for CPR chest compressions, and make them feel more confident doing it," said Dr. Alson Inaba, M.D. "If you begin Hands-Only CPR to the beat of the Bee Gees' ‘Stayin' Alive' immediately on a teen or adult who collapses from sudden cardiac arrest, you can double or triple their chances of survival."

In fact, Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be equally as effective as conventional mouth-to-mouth CPR, and people are more likely to feel comfortable performing it. A December 2012 study published in the American Heart Association's journal, Circulation found that chest compression-only CPR performed by bystanders keeps more people alive with good brain function after having a sudden cardiac arrest.

With the support of the WellPoint Foundation, the American Heart Association launched the 3-year national campaign and mobile tour in June 2012 to raise awareness of Hands-Only CPR as a lifesaving method and to increase the likelihood of people performing CPR in an emergency. The interactive Hands-Only CPR mobile tour will visit at least 24 cities across the country through Fall 2014 to teach thousands of people the easy steps to save a life. To find out when the mobile tour is visiting your city, please visit:

"The WellPoint Foundation is working to improve health and strengthen communities across the country," said Lance Chrisman, executive director of the WellPoint Foundation "We're proud to support the American Heart Association's Hands-Only CPR campaign through a three year, $4.5 million grant because we know this program will help to improve survival rates among out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims by giving bystanders the training and confidence they need to take action and save a life."

As part of the second year of the national Hands-Only CPR campaign, the American Heart Association debuted new TV and radio public service announcements, digital promotions and a one-minute Hands-Only CPR demo video to train Americans in the life-saving technique.

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