Amanda Mills (photo courtesy of the American Heart Association)

What do the following songs have in common?

  • “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen
  • “Days of Thunder” by Brooks & Dunn
  • “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor

If you answered that they all have the potential to save someone’s life because they’re sung at 120 beats per minute, then you are correct.

120 beats per minute is the correct pace to perform Hands-Only CPR if someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest.

This February – American Heart Month – our theme at the American Heart Association is “Be The Beat.” With more than 350,000 people suffering sudden cardiac arrest every year in this country, we want you to Be The Beat for them until EMS arrives.

The facts are staggering. Less than half of people who experience a sudden cardiac arrest receive immediate Hands-Only CPR from a bystander despite the fact that it takes only a few minutes to learn this lifesaving skill. For women and people of color in cardiac arrest, the percentage who receive help is even lower. Unfortunately, approximately 90 percent of those people don’t survive.

For those who do receive immediate bystander CPR, however, their odds of survival are more than doubled.

So how can you Be The Beat for someone if necessary?

Take two minutes to learn Hands-Only CPR at

The two simple steps are:

  1. Call 9-1-1
  2. Push hard and fast on the center of the chest

Pushing fast means 120 beats per minute, which is why it’s helpful to know some upbeat tunes like those mentioned above.

Of course, the classic song we often use at the American Heart Association when teaching people Hands-Only CPR is “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.

You can thank me later for getting this song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

“Ah, ha, ha, ha stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive”

“Ah, ha, ha, ha stayin’ alive”

Please – take two minutes now to watch the video and learn how to Be The Beat for someone in need, and have a great, healthy American Heart Month.

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