The Fundamentals and History of CPR

CPR is one of the most basic and fundamental lifesaving skills in the world. It has been around for decades and has helped save countless lives.

It is practiced all over the world and is the only method in which a patient or individual who has suffered cardiac arrest can be kept alive long enough for further treatment. The next step would be the process of defibrillation or the administration of intravenous drugs designed for the aid of cardiac arrest.


History Of CPR

CPR is also known as Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It was developed as a premier lifesaving skill in 1954 according to Doctor Peter Safar who wrote the book on it literally. The book titled The ABCs of Resuscitation was released in 1957.

The first demonstration of CPR was performed in 1954 by James Elam and proved to be a very reliable and appropriate technique. It wasn’t until later in the 1970s that it was released to the American public and people everywhere were made aware of this wonderful technique.

There had been some similar methods of resuscitation in the 18th century in Asia and Europe but they were very simple and not nearly as effective. It wasn’t until Elam and Safar perfected the methods and developed modern day CPR that the fundamental lifesaving skill truly came into operation.

Until this there was no true and tested method for resuscitation and there were no ways proven to sustain a life until further medical attention which was appropriate could be performed. Safar never fully took credit for his perfecting or inventing the method. Safar viewed CPP more as a modern day discovery of an older medical process which he simply brought the public eye and altered to get the optimal results.

The development of CPR increased throughout the years and still does to this day. The modern day CPR dummy is based on an original design and concept originally created by Safar and the Norwegian toymaker Asmund Laerdal.

The dummy was appropriately named CPR Anne and was modeled after and distributed around the world to medical professionals and institutions everywhere for training purposes.  CPR Anne like CPR is now a standard in all medical training centers and institutions.

The world was forever changed by the methods that Safar developed and gave to the modern world. And when it comes to the methods they may have changed a bit, but for the most part they remains fundamentally the same as before, the mains change being the order of performing the skill to CAB instead of ABC.
Photo by Michael J. Nevins

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