Leading cardiologist says Taylor Swift could save lives

Researchers are exploring how Swift’s songs could promote cardiovascular health by teaching CPR to her fans and others.

Researchers are exploring how Swift's songs could promote cardiovascular health by teaching CPR to her fans and others. (CREDIT: Creative Commons)

Taylor Swift's music isn't just about catchy tunes and emotional lyrics; it might just help save lives. Researchers at Monash University are exploring how Swift's songs could promote cardiovascular health by teaching CPR to her fans and others.

With over 50 Swift songs identified as technically suitable for conducting CPR, the researchers aim to supplement the Bee Gees' classic "Stayin' Alive," which has long been promoted as having the ideal beat for CPR.

At the recent academic conference Swiftposium, the Monash Victorian Heart Institute presented its list and even demonstrated a Swift-inspired CPR session. According to the presenters, cardiovascular disease is a leading global cause of death, but it often goes under-recognized and under-treated, especially in women, due to a lack of awareness.

Professor Stephen Nicholls, Director of the Victorian Heart Institute and the Victorian Heart Hospital, emphasizes the importance of CPR training for everyone. He believes that using contemporary songs like Swift's could engage younger generations effectively.

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"A quarter of people who have a heart attack don't make it to the hospital in time," says Professor Nicholls. "We know that survival rates for cardiac arrest can be greatly improved with bystander CPR."

CPR, or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, is a critical emergency procedure that provides oxygen and circulates the blood for someone experiencing cardiac arrest. Early CPR significantly improves survival chances, with compressions needing to be at a rate of 100-120 per minute.

In Australia, only about half the population is CPR trained, and many haven't refreshed their training in over five years. This means that only 40% of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from bystanders while awaiting an ambulance.

CPR compressions. (CREDIT: Getty Images/Mihajlo Maricic / EyeEm)

To address this gap and target younger demographics, the Victorian Heart Institute researched Swift songs that could maintain the required compression rate during CPR. They found over 50 suitable tracks.

This innovative approach has gained support from the American Heart Association, which has endorsed several Swift songs for hands-only CPR. The Australian Resuscitation Council has also backed this initiative.

"If you can use something people love to empower them to learn a life-saving skill, that's powerful," Professor Nicholls remarks. "There's a CPR suitable song for every Swifty Era."

Swift's influence extends beyond CPR training; her music has sparked interest in cardiovascular health through viral challenges like the Taylor Swift 'Eras Tour' treadmill challenge. This challenge involves fans running or walking the entire three-hour setlist of The Eras Tour.

"Physical activity has great benefits for heart health and reducing disease risk," Professor Nicholls notes. "Even just 10 minutes a day can make a difference as you build up your fitness. You don't need to be able to 'Shake It Off' like Taylor on day one."

Getting familiar with CPR:

Effective CPR requires maintaining compressions between 100-120 BPM

Stayin’ Alive is on lower end of spectrum at 103 BPM

The ideal song is closer to 120 BPM

These steps should be followed before starting CPR and the phrase “doctor’s ABCD” — DRS ABCD — will assist you in remembering the first letter of each step.

– Check for Danger

– Check for Response

– Send for Help

– Check their Airway

– Check for normal Breathing

– Start CPR

– Defibrillation

If you see someone having a medical emergency, call 000; they will step you through what you need to do.

Taylor Swift CPR suitable songs between 100-120 BPM:

  • Fearless (100)

  • Is It Over Now? (100)

  • I Think He Knows (100)

  • Teardrops On My Guitar (100)

  • Stay Stay Stay (100)

  • Untouchable (102)

  • Nothing New (102)

  • Long Live (102)

  • Cornelia Street (102)

  • Paper Rings (103)

  • Soon You’ll Get Better (103)

  • You're Losing Me (103)

  • 22 (104)

  • Clean (104)

  • Picture To Burn (105)

  • We Were Happy (106)

  • September (107)

  • Question…? (109)

  • Coney Island (108)

  • Dear Reader (108)

  • Maroon (108)

  • Santa Baby (108)

  • Say Don’t Go (110)

  • Now That We Don’t Talk (110)

  • King Of My Heart (110)

  • Treacherous (110)

  • Mirrorball (110)

  • Snow On The Beach (110)

  • Labyrinth (110)

  • The Man (110)

  • Afterglow (111)

  • Paris (111)

  • Gold Rush (112)

  • The Outside (112)

  • Sparks Fly (115)

  • A Place in This World (115)

  • Carolina (116)

  • Message In A Bottle (116)

  • Last Christmas (116)

  • Forever Winter (116)

  • Hey Stephen (116)

  • The Lucky One (117)

  • Welcome to New York (117)

  • I Wish You Would (117)

  • How You Get the Girl (117)

  • Suburban Legends (118)

  • Forever & Always (119)

  • Speak Now (119)

  • Hoax (119)

  • Dear John (119)

  • Love Story (119)

  • Dress (120)

  • Illicit Affairs (120)

  • You’re On Your Own, Kid (120)

With the right rhythm and training, Swift's songs could be the soundtrack to successful CPR interventions, empowering fans to take action in emergencies.

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Joseph Shavit
Joseph ShavitSpace, Technology and Medical News Writer
Joseph Shavit is the head science news writer with a passion for communicating complex scientific discoveries to a broad audience. With a strong background in both science, business, product management, media leadership and entrepreneurship, Joseph possesses the unique ability to bridge the gap between business and technology, making intricate scientific concepts accessible and engaging to readers of all backgrounds.