More than 35 years after the Bee Gees’ hit song was featured in the movie Saturday Night Fever,  “Stayin’ Alive” is still a hit.

That’s because it’s a great way to learn a lifesaving skill – chest compressions to the beat of the song are the perfect way to perform Hands-Only CPR.

A hotel ballroom in Nashville offered a perfect example last weekend, with more than 160 teens and their parents becoming lifesavers.

“Hands-Only CPR is easy…we have found out that teaching this simple technique allows us to teach a larger number of people how to do CPR and do it very effectively,” said American Heart Association volunteer Keith Churchwell , M.D., of Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute. “We know that Hands-Only CPR saves lives.”

Churchill talked to the group, which was gathered for the Jack and Jill Southeastern conference for African American teens, about heart health and the importance of knowing how to perform CPR.

Hands-Only CPR is compressions-only CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. The American Heart Association recommends using this method when people see a teen or adult suddenly collapse outside a hospital. 

Research shows that compressions are the most important part of CPR.  When applying Hands-Only CPR immediately, the chances of surviving sudden cardiac arrest can double, even triple.  Most of the 420,000 annual out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home.

During the training, each teen was given a special CPR “Stayin’ Alive” version of the American Heart Association Hands-Only CPR training kit, provided by the AmeriGroup Foundation.

Throughout the training session, the lessons were reinforced by sing-alongs to “Stayin’ Alive.”

The training is part of the American Heart Association’s efforts to train more Americans. The AHA annually trains more than 15 million people in CPR.