Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used to restore the circulation of blood and oxygen to the heart and brain in a person who has experienced cardiac arrest. The history of CPR dates back to the 18th century, when the French physician Jean-Baptiste Denys performed the first recorded resuscitation using mouth-to-mouth ventilation.

However, the modern version of CPR as we know it today was developed in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1956, Dr. Peter Safar, an anesthesiologist, and James Elam, a researcher, conducted experiments on animals to determine the most effective way to revive a stopped heart. They found that chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth ventilation were most effective in restoring circulation.

In 1960, the American Heart Association (AHA) established guidelines for CPR, which included chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth ventilation. Over the next few decades, CPR techniques continued to evolve, and in the 1980s, CPR training became widely available to the public.

In recent years, the emphasis has shifted from mouth-to-mouth ventilation to hands-only CPR, where chest compressions are given without rescue breathing. The AHA now recommends that laypeople use hands-only CPR in the case of an adult cardiac arrest, as the most important step in saving a life is to restore blood circulation through chest compressions.

Today, CPR is a critical component of emergency medical services and is taught to millions of people around the world. The continued evolution of CPR has saved countless lives, and it remains an essential tool in the fight against sudden cardiac arrest.