How 90s hit La Macarena could help you perform CPR

The 90s Spanish dance hit La Macarena could be the key to helping save a life - after experts revealed using it to keep time improves the quality of chest compressions during CPR.

The tempo of the song, released by Los del Rio in 1995, helped people keep a steady rhythm while carrying out the life-saving technique, a study found.

Researchers compared the rate and depth of chest compressions carried out by 164 students on a mannequin over a two-minute period - some of whom were asked to sing La Macarena in their heads as they did so.

Others were provided with a smartphone app which made a noise at 103 beats per minute, while a third group were given no guidance at all.

The study found that those in the La Macarena group performed nearly three quarters (74%) of compressions at the recommended rate of between 100 and 120 beats per minute.

Those using the app fared better, achieving 91% in the target range, but were the slowest to start the first compression.

The group who were given no external guidance had an average percentage of just 24%.

No group achieved the necessary compression depth of 5cm.

The report's authors concluded: "Both the app and using mental memory aid La Macarena improved the quality of chest compressions by increasing the proportion of adequate rate but not the depth of compressions. The metronome app was more effective but with a significant onset delay."

The research was carried out by a team at the University of Barcelona, Hospital Clinic Barcelona, and Universitat Autonoma Barcelona in Spain, and was led by Professor Enrique Carrero Cardenal.

The findings were presented at the Euroanaesthesia congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.