Quarterly scientific journal

History of the evolution of cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Marianna Korre , George Karlis

Abstract

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is as old as humankind. The evolution of CPR represents a combination of human errors and discoveries. Aim: The present study reviews the most important moments in the history of resuscitation, from the first attempts of CPR until now. Methods: The methodology followed included bibliography research from review literature, through databases PubMed, Medline, Scopus, with the use of keywords, such as cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, history, evolution and combinations of them. Complementary bibliography was found through the library of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Results: The first historical references on CPR go back to the era of Ancient Egypt (3100 B.C.). Although the technique for mouth to mouth ventilation was known in ancient times, its efficacy was demonstrated just in 1958. The ease and efficacy of chest compressions were demonstrated in 1960. Electrical defibrillation may have begun in 1775, but it was applied to a victim of cardiac arrest in the 1950s. Conclusion: CPR is currently a rapidly evolving field of medical science. According to latest data, there is evidence that high quality chest compressions, prompt defibrillation if applicable and treatment of reversible causes improve Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is as old as humankind. The evolution of CPR represents a combination of human errors and discoveries. Aim: The present study reviews the most important moments in the history of resuscitation, from the first attempts of CPR until now. Methods: The methodology followed included bibliography research from review literature, through databases PubMed, Medline, Scopus, with the use of keywords, such as cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, history, evolution and combinations of them. Complementary bibliography was found through the library of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Results: The first historical references on CPR go back to the era of Ancient Egypt (3100 B.C.). Although the technique for mouth to mouth ventilation was known in ancient times, its efficacy was demonstrated just in 1958. The ease and efficacy of chest compressions were demonstrated in 1960. Electrical defibrillation may have begun in 1775, but it was applied to a victim of cardiac arrest in the 1950s. Conclusion: CPR is currently a rapidly evolving field of medical science. According to latest data, there is evidence that high quality chest compressions, prompt defibrillation if applicable and treatment of reversible causes improve neurologically intact long term survival of cardiac arrest victims.

Keywords: Heart, cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, history, brain, brain resuscitation

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