By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS
A new video is capitalizing on the popularity of a cappella to help teach people how to perform Hands-Only CPR.
It features Street Corner Symphony interrupting a family dinner with a classic disco song. The message is two-fold: call 911 when you see a teen or adult collapse, and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive.”
The video is part of a nationwide campaign by the AHA, with funding by the Anthem Foundation, to educate millions of Americans about Hands-Only CPR. So far, more than three million people have learned about Hands-Only CPR through the campaign and mobile training tour.
Mark McLemore sings lead vocal in the video and said all he knew about CPR came from what he saw on television.
“From working with the AHA on this video, I actually learned that Hands-Only CPR can be just as effective as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation,” McLemore said.
The AHA recommends Hands-Only CPR for teens and adults who suddenly collapse. People who experience cardiac arrest are much more likely to survive if they get CPR immediately.
Yet only a third of Americans feel confident performing CPR, according to a 2014 AHA online survey. And nearly half believe that only people with special training should perform Hands-Only CPR. But the new music-based training video is designed to show how simple it is, according to the AHA.
“This is a powerful message that hits home with me,” said McLemore, whose mother and both sets of grandparents were diagnosed with heart disease. “We’ve learned that there are a lot of cardiac arrests that happen, and people need to be prepared to handle it [if they see one].”
About 326,000 Americans have a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital each year, according to AHA statistics.
Nashville-based Street Corner Symphony gained national fame in 2010 when they placed second on NBC’s a cappella competition The Sing-Off. Since then, the six-man group — McLemore, Adam Chance, Kurt Zimmerman and brothers Jeremy, Jonathan and Richie Lister — have released two albums and toured internationally. Last week, the group performed at an early screening of Pitch Perfect 2.
“Everyone’s heart beats in a pretty steady rhythm,” said McLemore. “To restart the heart, you have to re-establish the rhythm. What better way to do that than with music?”
Photo courtesy of Street Corner Symphony