A Short History on CPR

As you know by now, CPR is the only method of keeping a person alive while waiting for emergency medical personnel to arrive for assistance. However, did you know that the origins cardiopulmonary resuscitation date all the way to the 1700s? Since you are interested in learning more about CPR through our ACLS classes, we thought it would be a good idea to provide you with a brief history of CPR, and how it came to be an essential life-saving practice.


Even though CPR as we know it today was not formalized until the 1950-1960s, the beginnings of resuscitation were being taught as far back as the late 1700s in Amsterdam. Because of the numerous dams in and around the city, nearly 400 accidental drownings were happening on a yearly basis due to people falling into the dams. In order to reduce this loss of life, the Society for Recovery of Drowned Persons was started by community members.


In the late1800s a doctor named Friedrich Mass is reported to have used and documented the first effective and successful external chest compression technique on a human being.


The next major steps came in the 1950s when James Elam and Peter Safar invented mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This led to the United States military officially recognizing and adopting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as the methodology by which to bring about an unresponsive victim.


Finally in 1960, the American Heart Association started a program to train doctors on CPR techniques which then started the beginnings of training for the public at large in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.


Whether you’re interested in ACLS classes or in ACLS certification, please contact us at www.surefirecpr.com.


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About the author

I spent 15 years as a firefighter and paramedic...

And too often I would arrive on the scene of someone unconscious, surrounded by a circle of people feeling helpless. Sometimes those people would even have CPR training but lacked the confidence and experience to act.

That’s why I started SureFire CPR. Our classes are practical and engaging – teaching you the crucial skills you need to know what to do and feel empowered to take action.

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Zack Zarrilli, Founder

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