The History of CPR

What is CPR?

DO  NOT RESUSCITATE (DNR) - The long goodbye

CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a specialized and advanced field of first aid technique which involves life support through rescue breathing and assisting in artificial circulation through a series of chest compressions. CPR is proved to be an indispensable lifesaving technique. It can be applied to anyone and anywhere such as at workplace, at the park, in a community, while travelling or even at home.

The Invention of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

CPR was first demonstrated by Elam in 1954. It was a trial demo he did with the inventor of CPR named Dr. Safar. The two of them collaborated and discovered the basic elements of CPR that resulted to the innovation of its procedures: mouth to mouth resuscitation, head-tilt-chin-lift maneuver and chest compressions.

The Important Events in the History of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

  • In 1740, artificial respiration or the popular ‘mouth to mouth resuscitation’ was officially implemented for collapsed and drowned victims.
  • In 1891, the first unofficial chest compression was established by Dr. Mass
  • In 1904, carotid and cardiac massage was demonstrated by Dr. Crile.
  • In 1954 to 1956, the official Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation with procedures such as mouth to mouth resuscitation, head tilt-chin-lift maneuver and chest compressions were demonstrated by James Elam and Dr. Peter Safar.
  • In 1960, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation was adopted by American Heart Association (AHA) and implemented a policy that every medical health professional including doctors, nurses, midwives, caregivers and medical assistants should be trained to do it.
  • In 1966, the first mass CPR training was held by Cobb in Washington which involves 96,000 people who participated the said training.
  • In 1983 to 1988, Pediatric CPR was formally introduced and practiced.
  • In 1990, Defibrillation was presented and established as part of advanced cardiac life support.
  • In 2005, the ratio of chest compressions and artificial ventilation were included by AHA in the modern standards of Cardiopulmonary resuscitation practice.
  • In 2008, calling for Emergency medical services at the point of seeing a collapsed or drowned victim was established by American Heart Association.
  • In 2009 to 2010, the official complete Guidelines in giving CPR were released by American Heart Association.

Parting Thoughts

The development of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a remarkable point in our history. Imagine, if it was not invented, we will not discover our God-given potentials in saving human life. It feels good that we can be able to support and prolong someone’s life by the ability of using our hands.