Select Page

Heart shaped artThere is not a first aid course goes by when the comment is made “My last Instructor taught us a song to get the rate of chest compressions correct.”

Top of these pops is the children’s song Nellie the Elephant (Mandy Miller), followed by Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees), Another One Bites the Dust (Queen), That’s the Way (I Like it)) (KC and the Sunshine Band), Achy Breaky Heart (Billy Ray Cyrus) and I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor).

The recommended rate of compression is between 100-120 compressions a minute to a depth of 5-6cm.

In 2009 a team of researchers from the Universities of Birmingham, Coventry and Hertfordshire, and the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, tried to establish the best methods for teaching the correct tempo to help bystanders learn and remember the technique.

Their findings, published online in the British Medical Journal, confirmed Nellie – already used by some trainers – was the more effective song but could distract lifesavers into failing to apply enough pressure.

Lead author Malcolm Woollard, Professor in Pre-hospital and Emergency Care at Coventry University commented,
“As current resuscitation guidelines give equal emphasis to the importance of performing chest compressions at both the correct rate and depth, we regretfully recommend that playing or imagining hearing Nellie the Elephant during CPR training should be discontinued.”

So, as for resuscitation songs, personally I would suggest sit back, put the headphones on and listen to ‘Resuscitation’ by Sheryl Crow.