March 26, 2014

Fulfilling the Promise of “Anyone, Anywhere” to Perform CPR

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 2King County Emergency Medical Services, Seattle, Washington
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Maricopa Medical Center, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix
  • 4Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System, Phoenix

Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2014;311(12):1197-1198. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1485

Closed-chest cardiac massage for the treatment of cardiac arrest was first described in the medical literature in 1960.1 The report provided the basis to revolutionize care for one of the leading causes of death. In a statement filled with hope and promise, the authors wrote that “Anyone, anywhere, can now initiate cardiac resuscitative procedures. All that is needed are two hands.” Prior to closed-chest massage, the only recourse to achieve artificial circulation was open-chest massage involving emergency thoracotomy. Today the procedure widely known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been shown to double or triple the odds of survival from cardiac arrest.2

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