September is national preparedness month as well as school is back in full swing and I would like to discuss some history of CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).
With new rules, regulations and laws going into effect requiring more individuals be trained in CPR, I felt it would be a good idea to discuss where CPR came from. Teachers, coaches, airport personnel and many more people are now on the required list as to who must know CPR in the event of an emergency and we know an emergency can happen at any moment in time with a person of any age so let us break down where CPR came from.
According to the American Heart Association (http://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/AboutCPRFirstAid/HistoryofCPR/UCM_475751_History-of-CPR.jsp) as far back as 1740 when The Paris Academy of Sciences officially recommended mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for drowning victims. Twenty years later in 1767, also in France, The Society for the Recovery of Drowned person became the first organized effort to deal with sudden and unexpected death. In the 1800s is when the term “lifeguard” was born. This is what the American Red Cross as to say about the birth of the lifeguards. (https://www.originalwatermen.com/history-lifeguards-united-states) Starting in the 1800’s, bathing, now known as swimming, became a popular recreational activity in the United States. Entrepreneurs saw a niche and built resorts in places like Atlantic City and New Jersey, to attract humans from inland metropolitan areas to escape the summer heat. As water activity increased, so did the incidence of drowning. By the early 1900s as many as 9,000 humans drowned each year in the United States (American Red Cross, 1994).
Initially these eager businessmen were installing lifelines. However, lifelines proved inadequate because struggling swimmers were not able to grasp ahold of them once they entered into what would become known as the “Drowning Chain”. Duke Kahanamoku, one of Hawaii’s first original watermen, introduced the rescue board between 1910 and 1915, and Captain Harry Sheffield of South Africa is credited with developing the first rescue float (American Red Cross, 1994). Some communities assigned police officers to perform water rescues, but this diverted resources from law enforcement. Eventually, municipalities began to hire men and women trained specifically for water rescue. They were deemed “lifeguards.”
After the birth of the lifeguard and the ability to push air into the lungs using mouth to mouth, in 1891 Dr. Friedrich Maass performed the first equivocally documented chest compression in humans. A few years later the information was beginning to spread across the waters into America and the first documented reports of external chest compressions to resuscitate a human was conducted by Dr. George Crile in 1904. Although there were not official procedures and the credit for inventing Mouth-to-Mouth resuscitation was credited to Peter Safar and James Elam in 1956 and a year later the United States military adopted the method as a form to revive unresponsive victims.
The official procedure and terminology we know today as CPR or Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was coined in 1960 by the American Heart Association, three years later in 1963, cardiologist Leonard Scherlis started the American Heart Association’s CPR Committee, and the same year, the American Heart Association formally endorsed CPR.
In 1966 the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences was created and 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 which has formed into the guidelines we still use today.
Take a look at some of the developments over the last 40 years which lead us to where we are today in the advancement of 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.
1973 Second National Conference on CPR and ECC.
1979 Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) is developed after discussions held at the Third National Conference on CPR.
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-assistedCPR is now standard care for dispatcher centers throughout the United States.
1983 AHA convened a national conference on pediatric resuscitation to develop CPR and ECC Guidelines for pediatric and neonatal patients.
1985 Fourth National Conference on CPR and ECC.
1988 AHA introduces first pediatric courses, pediatric BLS, pediatric ALS and neonatal resuscitation, cosponsored with The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
1992 Fifth National Conference on CPR and ECC & International Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) founded
1999 First task force on first aid was appointed. First International Conference on Guidelines for CPR and ECC
2004 AHA and ILCOR releases a statement regarding the use of AEDs on children. It is determined that an AED may be used for children 1 to 8 years of age who have no signs of circulation.
2005 AHA developed the Family & Friends® CPR Anytime® kit, a revolutionary product that allows anyone to learn the core skills ofCPR in just 20 minutes. The kit contains everything needed to learn basic CPR, AED skills and choking relief anywhere, from the comfort of your home to a large group setting
2005 The 2005 International Consensus on ECC and CPR Science with Treatment Recommendations (CoSTR) Conference produces the 2005 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR & ECC. These Guidelines reveal a new compression: ventilation ratio as well as changes to AED usage.
2008 The AHA releases a statement about Hands-Only™ CPR, saying that bystanders who witness the sudden collapse of an adult should dial 911 and provide high-quality chest compressions by pushing hard and fast in the middle of the victim’s chest.
2010 The 2010 International Consensus on ECC and CPR Science with Treatment Recommendations (CoSTR) Conference produces the 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR & ECC; 50th Anniversary of CPR.
2015 The Institute of Medicine releases its report titled Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival: A Time to Act (2015); the 2015 International Consensus on ECC and CPR Science with Treatment Recommendations (CoSTR) Conference produces the 2015 American Heart Association Guidelines Update for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC).
Other great dates in history that are state specific and that is starting with Arkansas, in 2015 this was the first year that high school seniors were required to have hands on training (not certified) as a graduation requirement.
The great thing about having a governing body for CPR training is that there is a standard, the standard is proven to be the best procedure for lay responders (and advance procedures if trained) in potentially saving a life. Every five years a new set of Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) Guidelines come out with minor changes to ensure we have the latest procedure in helping someone in an emergency situation.
Take time to find an accredited CPR class today and practice those hands on skills.