Hit Song Provides CPR Rhythm for Saving Man’s Life

Post a Comment » Written on October 28th, 2009     
Filed under: News
DELRAY BEACH, FL (October 28, 2009) – A jogger who collapsed during a run is breathing today because the son of Evangelical Covenant Church minister Dave Elowson remembered the Bee Gee’s disco hit “Stayin’ Alive.”

Tom Elowson used a hands-only technique, which requires no mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The technique also is best done to the tune of the Bee Gees’ 1970’s disco hit.

As it turns out, “Stayin’ Alive” has a beat that’s almost exactly 100 beats per minute – the same rate the American Heart Association now recommends for chest compressions during CPR.

Elowson – who had never taken a CPR class – first learned the technique while watching about 90 seconds of Matt Lauer doing a segment about it on NBC’s Today Show in October 2008. This morning, Matt Lauer interviewed Elowson on the show. Click here to watch a video.

The incident occurred April 25 this year. Elowson and his fiancé, Robin, had gotten lost while driving to a friend’s house when they spotted Tom Maimone, 52, passed out on a driveway. Maimone, who was considered healthy, had completed 9.5 miles of a 10-mile run when his heart stopped.

Elowson continued the chest compressions until EMTs arrived. They told Elowson that he had saved Maimone’s life.

“It was absolutely amazing,” Elowson told Lauer. “I thank God that we were in the right place at the right time.”

Maimone appeared on Today with Elowson to promote use of the technique. The pair have become friends and Maimone says Elowson gave him a new birthday.

During a humorous moment on this morning’s show, Lauer asked Elowson to sing the song as he had done months earlier during a local television interview. As one observer put it, “Let’s just say Elowson is better at doing chest compressions.”

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