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CPR Effectiveness Improves With Metronomes

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, has been found to be more effective when performed to the beat of a metronome. The simple musician’s instrument, which taps out a steady beat, is readily available in music stores and even as an app on smartphones.

A study recently published in the journal Pediatrics reports that when the researchers looked at 150 medical providers, using the metronome upped the effectiveness of the CPR by 22 percent when compared to CPR being performed without the metronome.

CPR is used when someone stops breathing or their blood stops flowing. Brain damage or death can result after only minutes of blood flow stopping in children so CPR is essential until function of heart and lungs is restored according to Medical News Today. Pediatric cardiologist Dianne Atkins explains that increasing the quality of CPR is a lifesaving goal.

What we know for sure (is that) high-quality CPR improves survival.

NPR reports that the optimal compression rate is between 100 and 120 beats per minute but that can be tough to maintain and CPR doesn’t work as well if it is too fast or slow according to Dr. Atkins.

When chest compression is too slow or too fast, it decreases the effectiveness of CPR.

Using the metronome helps keep the person performing CPR on beat. They simply have to match their compressions with the steady beat tapped out by the metronome. Previously, songs such as Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive had been used to set the beat in some cases.

Metronomes are not currently found in most emergency medical kits in hospitals or with EMS teams but hopefully the new findings will change that. For those who are not in the medical field, consider getting trained to perform CPR and use a metronome app set to 100 beats per minute loaded onto a smartphone. Currently about 70 percent of Americans don’t know how to perform CPR or their training is no longer valid.

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