Please, please, not ABBA!

I think whoever designed this study should be subjected to prolonged and unrelenting auditory torture. the only thing worse than ABBA that I can think of would have been Rolf Harris’s 2 little boys; so that is the sentence I pronounce on Dr Roehr and his colleagues, being subjected to that tune for a few hours every day might make them rethink this intervention.

The authors took experienced neonatal resuscitators and played different songs during resuscitation simulations. They found that the rates of chest compressions and respiratory inflations were higher when they played ABBA’s song SOS over an iphone at maximum volume.

They interpret this as meaning that the ‘music’ (and I use the term loosely) improved the compliance with recommended rates of chest compressions and ventilation, and maybe this should be more widely investigated.

I interpret as meaning that the participants, on hearing the ABBA song, wanted to get out of there as fast as possible, and did everything more quickly to try and get it to go away.

Seriously, if this becomes standard I will have to reconsider my career.

About Keith Barrington

I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Sainte Justine University Health Center in Montréal
This entry was posted in Neonatal Research and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Please, please, not ABBA!

  1. John Lantos says:

    Keith – do it for your patients…

  2. Dan Ellsbury says:

    I would need to see evidence that early ABBA exposure does not induce widespread CNS apoptosis in the developing brain. I suspect it probably does….

  3. Cecilia Cocucci says:

    Hi Keith,
    I agree… they could have chosen way too better songs than ABBA’s SOS. For 100 bpm we have the Bee Gees’Staying alive:
    And if you need to resuscitate a baby with 120 bpm I will survive or other Gloria Gaynor hits could be useful;
    It’s like a cool CPR 70’s show…
    Without any monitoring or standardized method, caregivers are most likely not able to perceive if they are delivering 40 – 60 or perhaps even 120 bpms. We may need an accurate strategy to pace respiratory rate and chest compressions during CPR. But singing? Seriously? For the last two years our research group in Buenos Aires has been working on the use of a metronome for pacing respiratory rate. We still don’t know if this could work in real life and if it may help babies, but I bet everyone´s ears will be safer…
    Best regards,
    Cecilia Cocucci

  4. Gonzalo Mariani says:

    Amazing! Human “creativity” is unlimited. Thanks, Keith, you have brought laugh in a difficult NICU day…
    Cecilia, you won’t believe it, they did try those songs (and others) in random order. Were you a consultant? We have to think in Spanish songs for this part of the world (I vote for “La felicidad, ja ja ja ja” )


  5. Rosemarie Boland says:

    Perhaps Keith would have been happier if the researchers had chosen a Canadian singer? I am just not sure that Celine Dion would have helped… although she does sing “My heart will go on” which is surely a good omen when performing CPR.

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