Research on CPR training music
Researchers writing in the
British Medical Journal have found that students
listening to Nellie the Elephant during first aid training were
more likely to use the correct rhythm when
In order to be effective, chest compressions during
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) need to be carried out at a
rate of 100 beats per minute.
During the study, carried out at the universities of Birmingham,
Coventry and Hertfordshire, with the West Midlands Ambulance
Service, volunteers performed three sequences of one minute of
continuous chest compressions on a resuscitation manikin. They
were accompanied by no music, repeated choruses of Nellie the
Elephant and That’s the Way (I like it).
Anything that helps people learn the correct rhythm during training should be welcomed.
Training Porduct Development Manager, St John Ambulance
The group concluded that listening to Nellie the
Elephant significantly increased the proportion of people
delivering compression rates at close to 100 per minute -
the correct rhythm for CPR - although it also increased the
proportion of compressions delivered at an inadequate depth.
St John Ambulance's verdict
Commenting on the research Clive James, Training Product
Development Manager at St John Ambulance, said: ‘Chest compressions
for CPR need to be carried out at 100 beats per minute to
be effective and anything that helps people learn the
correct rhythm during training should be welcomed.
'We often mention ‘Nellie the Elephant’ in our courses as it’s
the right rate and a tune we all know from our
childhood. We find it gives people the confidence to know
they are keeping the correct rhythm but it’s just one part
of learning CPR - as well as getting the rhythm right you
need to put the correct pressure on the chest. First aid
training will ensure that both the rhythm and depth of the
compression are carried out to the correct life saving