Monday, February 14, 2011

Staying Alive with Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive

It's Valentine's Day today. While everybody is busy reminiscing old date times with their loved ones back in the Philippines, and while others are enjoying some sumptuous dinners in some fine dining restaurants to celebrate the Heart's Day, I am here alone in my room reading American Heart Association's Advanced Cardiac Life Support Manual for Professionals. Urgghh. That is how I am boringly celebrating the love-season; the way the members of the SMV (Samahan ng mga Malalamig ang Valentines) do it: KILL THE TIME. Haha. At least there is something related to the 'heart' that is keeping me busy right now. ;)


I have this laziness-to-blog thing going around lately although I really have a looooott of quite interesting things to blog about. And because I am not past that period yet, I'll just re-post an entry I made almost 3 years ago (October 23, 2008) when I am almost a year old as a professional ER nurse. This has something to do with the heart again, mate! Happy Valentine's Day!



I’m not on track with the number of times I have been part of a code ever since I started as a nurse professionally. Although I never wanted to be used to it, it always comes… And whether I like it or not it is part of my job. Of course, we can’t stop people from coming to the ER for someone who has been found unconscious and pulseless for whatever reason.

I must say that being part of code can be tough since the relatives expect that you’ll be instrumental for their relative’s coming back to life. But what if a member of the code does something wrong, wait… let me correct that.. what if he does something ‘technically wrong’ based on your knowledge of ‘theory’ and you know that his maneuvers could do nothing beneficial for the patient? Well, I’ve been a witness to an instance where my co-worker did something ‘not so acceptable’ for me during a code…

Here’s the story: It was a peaceful morning at the ER and suddenly an owner of a private car brought in a patient who’s in cardiac arrest. Upon checking the ABCs and determining pulselessness, they started doing cardiac compressions. I actually did not witness the whole scenario from having the man transferred to the gurney and then to the ER bed until they started compressions. I just came back to the ER after endorsing a patient at the floor with the team already doing their job.

Some men were already doing cardiac compressions to a man in his 50s. Alright, they were doing compressions, and if somebody with no knowledge with BLS would see them, he’d just stand in awe with the way they did their thing. It really looked professionally done from afar. However, when I got closer, I just noticed that a staff was doing about 3 or 4 inches deep compressions! Whoa! I’m seeing [x-ray vision mode] broken bones in that moment... Tsk tsk tsk… Of course the one who’s a bone breaker got exhausted and somebody has to relieve for him, then another man started doing his compressions. I really thought he would do good since he looked lighter... But as always, looks could be deceiving… That man did about 150 to 200 compressions a minute!!! What the f*#k! He was giving the heart manual VTach!

So, there you go.. I’ve presented the incomplete scenario and then somebody would surely ask,
Question: What did you do?
Answer: Don’t ask..

Q: Did the man survive?
A: What do you think?

Q: And so, what’s the point of sharing your story?
A: I just would like to correct the ‘not so acceptable’ thing those men did in that code.

Q: How?
A: Through Bee Gees' Stayin’ Alive! You’ll know in a bit..
Well, aside from gaining more fats from having a so sedentary lifestyle for the 2 days of being on a rest day: watching tv, dvd, being slave of the internet, I still learned something that would benefit me on my work... Perhaps to the readers of this entry too!

A recent study conducted at the University of Illinois medical school determined that Stayin' Alive, the Bee Gees hit immortalized in the film Saturday Night Fever, helped participants maintain the proper frequency of chest compressions needed for effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Research says the song contains 103 beats per minute, close to the recommended rate of 100 chest compressions per minute.

Stayin' alive,
Stayin' alive,
Ha...ah...ah...ah

(this part is exactly 100 beats per minute)
Stayin' a-li-ive

This tip helps rescuers keep the proper rate while doing CPR. Going too slow doesn't generate enough blood flow, and going too fast doesn't allow the heart to fill properly between compressions. Humming along with the Bee Gees is one way to stay on track!!!

A spokesman for the American Heart Association (AHA) said it had been using 'Stayin' Alive' as a training tip for CPR instructors for about two years, although it was not aware of any previous studies that tested the song.

I was fascinated with this report so I personally did the counting… And it is true!!! Although you generate 103 compressions in a minute it is pretty close to 100! Why don’t you give it a try? I provided the YouTube video here so you could do your counting by yourself.

So why just stick to the AHA’s written guideline of “100 compressions per minute” if you could put it into practice while enjoying the beat!

Ready? Sing!

Stayin' alive,
Stayin' alive,
Ha...ah...ah...ah
Stayin' a-li-ive!


Well, I mentioned a while ago that I would like to correct the men who did the wrong compressions to that code: You perform at a pace making 100 compressions a minute and the compressions must be 1.5 to 2 inches deep on the middle of the sternum… Yeah!

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