The History of CPR
In the past, people who accidentally drown or have suffered cardiac arrest have very little to no chance of making it out alive. That was until, in 1740, the Paris Academy of Sciences recommended the use of mouth to mouth resuscitation in order to revive victims of drowning. With the introduction of CPR, drowning victims were able to up their chances of making it through.
Of course, certain cases do not positively respond to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. It was this dilemma that has pushed one medical professional by the name of John Hill to document in 1868 a new procedure that allowed victims of chloroform inhalation to be revived without the use of mouth to mouth resuscitation. The said procedure called for the compression of the front part of the chest for 15 seconds thrice. All of the recorded cases seems to have been successful although a clean bill of health was something that took time to be issued.
It was, however, in 1954 that the first successful demonstration of how effective expired air is when it comes to maintaining oxygen in the victim’s body. This demonstration was conducted by James Elam, a US doctor and a respiratory researcher. Together with Dr. Peter Safar, the duo went beyond a successful demonstration by offering a definite proof that their procedure was better than all the past procedures put forward. Elam is also best known for the Roswell Park ventilator which has been proven to be quite effective in absorbing carbon dioxide during surgery.
Although Dr. Peter Safar is typically a name that is just associated with Elam, he actually also has his own worthy contribution as it was he who discovered the efficacy of titling the head back and opening the mouth in order to be able to make the most of a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. It was he who is credited with coming up with the famous Resusci Anne mannequin by Laerdral which allowed more and more people to be familiar with how CPR should be administered. It was also Safar who came up with the idea of ABC – checking for airway, restoring breathing, and application of chest compression to restore circulation.
After so many years, however, the American Heart Association (AHA) has issued a new guideline that called for a change in how the whole CPR process is done. If, in the past, the ABC model has been widely lauded as the proper way to do CPR, today, more and more medical professionals are seeing the merits of starting the process with chest compression. This change in how CPR is done is brought primarily by the results of recent studies that point to the need of restoring circulation as soon as possible in order to prevent tissue necrosis, or tissue death. One has to keep in mind, however, that the CAB model,including hands-only compression which is currently gaining ground among those who were not trained in proper CPR, is not something that can be used for children and infant as well as for pregnant women.