A Look Back at the Origin of the Life Saving First Aid Procedure

September 26, 2013Comments Off on A Look Back at the Origin of the Life Saving First Aid Procedure

CPR training is now viewed as a vital knowledge in almost all modern society. The idea of applying manual resuscitation method began with the 19th century when the procedure was introduced by Dr. H.R. Silvester, originally dubbed as The Silvester Method, the steps included in the process was laying the patient flat on their back and lifting their arms over their heads in order to support inhalation and pressing on their chest for exhalation. The procedure was applied for about 16 times per minute or for as long as it was necessary. An updated version of the procedure was then invented and renamed the Holger Nielsen procedure; completely different iteration from the original method, this version instead has the patient lying face down with their elbows being raised and as the pressure on the body is increased, air is forced into the body to aid oxygen circulation. Surprisingly, similar methods were also invented in Japan and were a fundamental teaching in the martial arts Judo. It is noted that this version was applied and was actually successful in helping revive an unconscious individual due to lack of oxygen; the method was called Kutatsu of Kappo. Records have also stated that the martial art has perfected this method when it comes to application and effectiveness.

The 20th century was the era where CPR training was seriously looked at and considered to be a viable method in resuscitating those who has suffered from cardiac arrest or drowning. This is where medical experts started looking at the process and changing some of the methods in order to further enhance its effectiveness in application during emergencies. James Jude and Guy Knickerbocker were the ones that further elaborated the method of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the key importance of the compressing the chest with palm and continuously putting pressure on it to simulate the heartbeat. While another team of medical experts, Peter Safar and James Elam provided accurate studies on the effectiveness of adding the method of artificial respiration into the procedure. Once the two methods were combined modern CPR was finally invented and is still used today during medical emergencies in order to buy some time for the patient until proper medical personnel arrives at the scene. It took almost a full century for the complete and modern version of the procedure to be created and unless a much better option is proposed, the procedure is seen to be continually applied way into the future.

During further studies in the 20th century however, the effectiveness of artificial respiration was downgraded considerably as medical experts discovered how little its impact on the whole procedure is. As of today, the American Heart Association (AHA) has only recognized the efficiency of the heart compression method only.

Studies in medical procedures have clearly developed since the medieval and 19th century. The fact that CPR is still commonly used today is a testament to its sheer effectiveness, while not exactly in saving lives but giving the body a chance to survive. Trainings are done all over the world concerning the procedure in order to educate people of the importance of knowing first aid methods whenever the need arises.