History of CPR  
  CPR or Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an essential life saving technique which is the only known method of keeping someone alive until medically necessary treatment can be administered to the victim. The technique was first introduced and demonstrated by Dr. James Elm, and together with Dr. Peter Safar has proven the effectiveness of the procedure and its numerous advantages over the previously known emergency interventions. Later, Dr. Peter Safar wrote a book called "ABC of Resuscitation", which became a bible of proper CPR administration.  The promotion to the public did not begin until 1970,  but has continued strongly since. 

The first attempts to deal with sudden cardiac arrests or heart attacks started in the mid 1700s in Amsterdam, where a group of wealthy and civil minded citizens have organized a group named Society for Recovery of Drowned Persons. The group developed a set of rules and procedures to follow in case of drowning.  This was the first time an organization addressed near death situation. As a result of its success, organizations like these began opening all over Europe and later migrated to America. The movement has been gaining popularity ever since. CPR has saved millions of lives over the past four decades and as wider recognition develops it will certainly save millions more.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Timeline

1740 The Paris Academy of Sciences officially recommended mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for drowning victims

1767 The Society for the Recovery of Drowned Persons became the first organized effort to deal with sudden and unexpected death

1891  Dr. Friedrich Maass performed the first equivocally documented chest compression in humans

1903 Dr. George Crile reported the first successful use of external chest compressions in human resuscitation

1904 The first American case of closed-chest cardiac massage was performed by Dr. George Crile

1954 James Elam was the first to prove that expired air was sufficient to maintain adequate oxygenation

1956 Peter Safar and James Elam invented mouth-to-mouth resuscitation

1957 The United States military adopted the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation method  to revive unresponsive victims

1960 Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was developed. The American Heart Association started a program to acquaint physicians with close-chest cardiac resuscitation and became the forerunner of CPR training for the general public

1963 Cardiologist Leonard Scherlis started the American Heart Association's CPR Committee, and the same year, the American Heart Association formally endorsed CPR

1966 The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences 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

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