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Dimens Crit Care Nurs. 2007 Jan-Feb;26(1):1-6; quiz 7-8.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation: how far have we come?

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Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, VA 23708, USA.


In the 43 years since it was first described, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has grown from an obscure medical theory to a basic first aid skill taught to adults and is now the near-universal technique used in CPR instruction. This article provides insight into the history of CPR. We explore the phenomenon of sudden cardiac arrest, the historical roots of CPR, current practice data and recommendations, and the society's role in the development of this life-saving technique. We conclude with a review of CPR's economic impact on the healthcare system and the ethical and policy issues surrounding CPR.

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