Dr. James Jude developed CPR in 1960, after observing colleagues Dr. William Kouwenhoven and graduate student Guy Knickerbocker’s work with defibrillators. Dr. Kouwenhoven is the developer of the defibrillator and Knickerbocker was doing work with fibrillating dogs at the time. Jude figured that pressure applied rhythmically to the center of the chest, with the heel of the hand, could jump-start the heart and save lives.
He passed away on Tuesday at the age of 87 of complications from a rare ailment related to Parkinson’s disease.
If you’ve ever seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, you have seen a glimpse of what doctors actually would do to try and get the heart beating again. They’d literally reach into the chest and massage the heart. Plus, patients were out of luck until they reached a hospital.
Jude had to provide evidence that his technique would work. His wife said that he had to provide 100 successful resuscitations before he could present it, a feat which was accomplished quickly. In 1963, CPR was formally endorsed by the American Hearth Association, just three years after Dr. James Jude developed the technique. This new life-saving technique lead to hundreds of scientific articles. He also wrote two books on the subject, including Fundamentals of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.
Jude was born in Maple Lake, Minnesota on June 7, 1928. Speaking with a Miami Herald reporter in 1983, he said that “[CPR] has been beneficial, even at its worst, and we are saving an awful lot of lives.”
In addition to his wife and son, Jude is survived by children Roderick, John, Cecilia Prahl, Victoria Steele, Robert and Christopher; 14 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and his sister, Monica Loch. (via Miami Herald)