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Popular Children’s Song Slips From Hit Parade on CPR Chart

Last Updated: December 15, 2009.

Pacing the compressions of cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the children's song Nellie the Elephant, successfully achieved an approximation of the recommended 100-compressions-per-minute rate, but not the required depth of compression, according to a study published Dec. 13 in BMJ.

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Pacing the compressions of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to the children's song Nellie the Elephant, successfully achieved an approximation of the recommended 100-compressions-per-minute rate, but not the required depth of compression, according to a study published Dec. 13 in BMJ.

Lettie Rawlins, of the Birmingham University School of Medicine in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted tests of 130 adult volunteers in CPR in which the volunteers performed three one-minute sequences of chest compressions on a metered resuscitation manikin accompanied by either no music, Nellie the Elephant (Nellie), or the disco hit, That's the Way (I like it) (TTW). The researchers recorded the rate of chest compressions, the depth of compressions, the proportion of incorrect compressions, and the types of errors.

The researchers found that the median compression rates were 110 without music, 105 with Nellie, and 109 with TTW. A compression rate of between 95 and 105 was achieved in 12 percent of compressions with no music, in 32 percent with Nellie, and 9 percent with TTW. However, a greater proportion of compressions were too shallow with Nellie compared to compressions without music (56 versus 47 percent).

"Listening to Nellie the Elephant significantly increased the proportion of lay people delivering compression rates at close to 100 per minute. Unfortunately it also increased the proportion of compressions delivered at an inadequate depth. As current resuscitation guidelines give equal emphasis to correct rate and depth, listening to Nellie the Elephant as a learning aid during CPR training should be discontinued," the authors write.

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