PalPITTations Create Original Song to Help Guide the CPR Process

By: Jessica Frezza

Many of those who are CPR certified remember learning how to do perform CPR to the rhythm of the Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive.”

The University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate Health Sciences a cappella group, the PalPITTations, took a new approach to mixing music and CPR. Writing a song at 100 beats per minute (BPM), the recommended rate of chest compressions, PalPITTation students combined their love for music and healthcare.

The PalPITTations were tasked to write a song about CPR that various UPMC emergency departments could use in a music video competition amongst all UPMC staff.

“We were really excited about getting involved in this competition, so we agreed to help and write a totally original song about CPR,” PalPITTation music director Michael Belsky said.

The PalPITTations are mostly comprised of medical students, but also have students in Ph.D. graduate programs. Between studying for exams, the dual music and medical enthusiasts wrote and recorded the song. Not only is the song a fun background for the music video competition, but it can be used as a reference when performing CPR.

PalPITTations Create Original Song to Help Guide the CPR ProcessDr. David Salcido, research assistant professor of emergency medicine at UPMC, was happy to see that the group captured the main concepts of CPR and cardiac arrest while also using employing artistic creativity.

“These concepts often seem medically and scientifically detached from everyday life experiences, especially the way they are presented in textbooks, informational literature and training courses,” Salcido said. “What the Pitt PalPITTations did was unusual in that it is accurate and artistically compelling.”

Belsky is excited to see what the future holds for the original CPR song.

“We hope that this song will be a fun, catchy background that can help UPMC emergency departments in spreading awareness and information about CPR,” Belsky said.

For now, the PalPITTations must wait to see how the song does in the competition and beyond.