History of CPR – ABC to CAB

Respected All,

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 Crile.

1954   James Elam was the first to prove that expired air was sufficient to maintain adequate oxygenation.

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.

1960   Cardiopulmonary 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 general public.

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

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About Faisal Javed Mir

Faisal Javed Mir is Occupational Health and Safety Professional, having 15+ years of profound experience in training and consultancy. He has knowledge, skills, experience, tools, proven history and confidence to deliver what is required by the valued clients. He is teaching First Aid since 2006 and certified by MEDIC First Aid International of United States for many first aid certification programs. He is the only Instructor-Trainer by MEDIC First Aid and American Health and Safety Institute (ASHI) in Pakistan.
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1 Response to History of CPR – ABC to CAB

  1. It’s truly a nice and useful piece of info. I am glad that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.


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