Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: Lessons from the Past and Trends for the Future

  • P. E. Marik
  • J. Varon
Part of the Yearbook of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (YEARBOOK, volume 2000)


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is probably as old as human existence [1]. Early descriptions of the technique include accounts from legends that date back thousands of years. In Egyptian mythology, Isis, the goddess of healing, was depicted as breathing into her husband Osiris’ mouth, thereby reviving him. The ‘modern’ technique of CPR was first described by Kouwenhoven, Jude and Knickerbocker in the early 1950s [2]. These researchers demonstrated that closed-chest compression elevated arterial pressures in dogs with ventricular fibrillation, and that subsequently the animals could be successfully resuscitated. For the last three decades, external chest compression has been the standard method for managing circulatory arrest and the protocols for managing cardiac arrest have changed very little during this period of time. However, as a result of extensive research in this area, many aspects of the standard Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) protocols for managing cardiac arrest have now come into question.


Cardiac Arrest Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Chest Compression Sudden Cardiac Arrest Coronary Perfusion Pressure 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. E. Marik
  • J. Varon

There are no affiliations available

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