We published our first ever post on “History of CPR” back in May 2011. In that post we highlighted the contributions of Dr. James Elam and Dr. Peter Safar but today we will try out tiniest effort to unfold some of the historical facts about the modern days CPR and how it evolved.
CPR has origins dating back to 1700th century. It was started in year 1740 when, The Paris Academy of Sciences officially recommended mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for drowning victims. There are numerous honorable names who invested their lives to help the invention and forwarded the noble cause to coming generations. In 1960, a group of resuscitation pioneers, Dr Peter Safar, Dr. James Elam, and William Bennet, combines mouth-to-mouth breathing with chest compressions to create Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, the lifesaving action we now call “CPR”.
Throughout the years, CPR has evolved from a technique performed almost exclusively by physicians and healthcare professionals. Today it’s a lifesaving skill that is simple enough for anyone to learn. However, research has shown that several factors prevent bystanders from taking action and fear of infection from performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
In 2008 AHA first endorsed Hands-Only CPR – the two-step technique pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives to overcome the fear of bystanders of being infected from mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Please find below the highlights of the History of
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) from 1740 to date.
1740 The Paris Academy of
Sciences officially recommended mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation for drowning victims.
1767 The Society for the
Recovery of Drowned Persons became the first organized
effort to deal with sudden and unexpected death.
1891 Dr. Friedrich
Maass performed the first equivocally
documented chest compression in humans.
1903 Dr. George
Crile reported the first successful use
of external chest compressions in human resuscitation.
1904 The first American case of
closed-chest cardiac massage was performed by Dr. George
1954 James Elam was
the first to prove that expired air was
sufficient to maintain adequate
1956 Dr. Peter
Safar and Dr. James
Elam invented mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
1957 The United
States military adopted the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
method to revive unresponsive victims.
resuscitation (CPR) was
developed. The American Heart Association (AHA)
started a program to acquaint physicians with close-chest cardiac
resuscitation and became the forerunner of CPR training for the
1963 Cardiologist Leonard
Scherlis started the American Heart Association’s CPR
Committee, and the same year, the American Heart Association
formally endorsed CPR.
1966 The National Research
Council of the National Academy of Sciences convened an
ad-hoc conference on cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The
conference was the direct result of requests from the American
National Red Cross and other agencies to establish standardized
training and performance standards for CPR.
1972 Leonard Cobb
held the world’s first mass citizen training in CPR in Seattle,
Washington called Medic 2. He helped train
over 100,000 people the first two years of the programs.
1981 A program to provide telephone instructions in CPR began in King County, Washington. The program used emergency dispatchers to give instant directions while the fire department and EMT personnel were en route to the scene. Dispatcher-assisted CPR is now standard care for dispatcher centers throughout the United States and then followed by other countries.
Recommendations outlined in the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR & ECC continue to simplify CPR for rescuers, so that more people can and will act in the event of any emergency. More user friendly and convenient ways (like Hands-Only CPR) are developed to get CPR and first aid training into the hands of every person.
To Your Health, Safety and Prosperity,
Faisal Javed Mir & First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan