CARDIAC arrest and sudden cardiopulmonary collapse are problems that have always plagued physicians. Until very recently nothing was done when this occurred because of the heretofore mistaken conclusion that there was nothing beneficial to be done for the patient. However, in the 1950's it was found that cardiac resuscitation following cardiac arrest was indeed possible. At first direct cardiac massage applied manually through an open chest was advocated, although this was associated with a high degree of morbidity.
In the early 1960's, a revolutionary technique for resuscitating cardiac arrests was developed by Kouwenhoven and Jude.1,2 They found that the stopped heart could be made to pump blood by intermittently compressing it between the sternum and the vertebral column. This was the key which unlocked the door to successful external cardiac resuscitation.
In March 1964, the staff of Emanuel Hospital instituted a plan of action for cases of cardiac arrest
Roser LA. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Experience in a General Hospital: Review of 116 Consecutive Resuscitative Attempts During a 2½-Year Period. Arch Surg. 1967;95(4):658–663. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330160128019
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