Berkeley American Heart Association CPR and First-aid

American Heart Association CPR & First-aid Class

In 1960, after the American Heart Association recognized the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR, as an invaluable lifesaving skill, the United States launched a nationwide campaign to educate both medical professionals and volunteers on the correct method of administration.

In emergency medical situations, CPR can sustain life long enough for medical professionals to diagnose and treat victims. It is performed in a series of three steps. First, an unresponsive victim is assessed to determine whether or not they are breathing. If not, then intervals of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions are administered in a dual effort to provide air to the victim’s lungs and blood to the victim’s brain. This process of alternating intervals is continued until the victim begins to breathe again, or until medical professionals can assess, diagnose, and begin a course of treatment.

The most effective technique for the administration of CPR was developed by Dr. Peter Safar and Dr. James Elam. These two doctors were a part of the American Heart Association’s coordinated effort to educate medical professionals and volunteers on the proper administration of CPR during emergency medical situations.
Safar approached toymaker Asmund Laerdal, enlisting him to create a realistic mannequin for use in CPR training. Laerdal responded with a mannequin modeled after an anonymous woman whose body was fished out of the River Seine in Paris around the turn of the twentieth century (Snopes.com).
This woman’s features had originally been reproduced in the form of a death mask and had gained in popularity in Parisian society. Consequently, Laerdal had a reproduction of the death mask at the time of Safar’s request. While the woman may have died anonymously, Laerdal graced her memory in the form of a mannequin he created and sold with the name “Resci Anne.”

Though she has assumed several nicknames since her creation in 1960, perhaps she is most affectionately known and recognized in the United States as “Rescue Annie.” She has withstood the test of time, having been reproduced for over sixty years and counting; additionally, she has proven herself an essential component in any CPR training course and we at Berkeley CPR Courses agree .

Over the years, “Rescue Annie’s” family has grown to include other realistic mannequins to assist in CPR training. There is a male mannequin, “Rescue Randy,” as well as an infant mannequin, “Baby Resci.” In addition, a dark skinned Annie exists, as well as a line of products collectively known under the umbrella line of “Little Anne.” These products, along with the mannequins themselves, continue to be manufactured by Laerdal, the original toymaker responsible for the first “Rescue Annie.”

Once the American Heart Association recognized the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR, it became a priority to not only raise national awareness of the lifesaving technique, but to also provide instruction on its proper administration. For this reason, the doctors who were responsible for developing the technique asked for assistance in the form of realistic mannequins to help aid them in CPR training courses as well as our own Berkeley CPR Certification Classes. “Rescue Annie” was the first of those mannequins, and for this reason, her name has become synonymous with CPR.

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