Although it is an instrument mainly used by musicians, using a metronome in CPR may boost survival rates among those affected by sudden cardiac arrest.
A recent research led by a team from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that keeping rhythm with a beat-keeping device can save more lives in CPR procedures.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can save the life of people who stop breathing or their blood flow is interrupted. But CPR needs to be applied fast as every ticking minute can lead to permanent brain damage and death, especially in children.
So, the procedure needs to be administered before breathing and blood flow are restored. Yet, although the technique can literally save lives, few Americans are accustomed with it. According to the American Heart Association, 70 percent of U.S. adults do not know how to perform CPR or their training does not qualify them to do it.
Although it is advisable CPR to be administered by a trained person, the newly found technique challenges previous literature on the topic because it focuses more on chest compressions rather than on breathing.
Study authors involved more than 150 medical staffers in their study. Pediatric residents, medical students and fellows, and nurses were asked to perform the procedure on a child-sized manikin.
Half of the times, volunteers were asked to perform CPR with a metronome, and the other half were asked to perform it without the device. Seventy-four volunteers used a metronome in the first couple of minutes of the CPR, while the rest of volunteers used the device in another round. Each round was followed by a 15 minute break.
Researchers found that volunteers that used the metronome applied more chest compressions with a minute than their peers that didn’t use the beat-keeping device. In CPR, it is essential to compress the chest hard and fast, doctors explained. It is essential to apply at least 90 to 100 compressions per minute to the center of the chest.
In other words, volunteers reached that rate when they used a metronome in 72 percent of cases. When not using the device, they reached the recommended 90-100 compression rate per minute only in 50 percent of cases.
“The rate of chest compressions during CPR can be optimized by the use of a metronome,”
researchers wrote in a paper published in the AAP’s journal Pediatrics.
Researchers currently debate whether using a metronome in real-life scenarios may be practical. In a previous CPR campaign, AHA recommended rescuers to time compression rates to the rhythm of the Bee Gee’s popular song “Stayin’ Alive.”
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