Pre-"Mouth-to-Mouth" Resuscitation Methods?

Was there ever a time when it was advised to resuscitate by laying the victim on his/her belly, and pushing on his/her back? I can see where this may stir movement in the lungs, but (a) it could do equally bad damage to the spinal cord and (b) not be too productive, I WAG. I’ve seen this in cartoons*, but I just caught sight of this being the recommended method in a early 1970’s sit-com AND it implied “mouth to mouth” was a new concept at the time.

*“out with the bad air, in with the good air”…I’m sure many a SDoper has heard reference to this, in the least.

What’s the SD on this?

  • Jinx

There is a tradition in Judo of methods you use to get a concussed person conscious again. They involve manipulation of stomach and body parts - I have only seen diagrams. In the diagrams the victim was on his back and the practitioner was crouching over him.

Some of them would cause a little motion of breath, and some are said to have worked on some people in some instances, but all of them would leave your victim dead if CPR was what wsa needed.

According to the Wikipedia article on Danish athlete Holger Nielsen, his method was recommended from 1951 to 1958, when it was replaced with mouth-to-mouth. So mouth to mouth wasn’t exactly brand spanking new in 1970.

However in the article on cardiopulmonary resuscitation the paragraph on its history says that:

None of the previous methods involve pressing on a victims back though.

When I first learned first aid in the 1960s they still taught the back pressure /arm lift method of resuscitation.
Lay the victim on their stomach.
Fold their arms so that the forearms are perpendicular to the body.
Turn their head to the side and lay it on the hands, making sure the airway is clear.
Kneel above the head.
Press down on the ribcage (pushing toward the victim’s waist)
Release and grab the upper arms and pull back toward you.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

As I recall from my days as a Boy Scout, it was referred to as “artificial respiration” as opposed to “mouth-to-mouth resuscitation”.

IIRC The Amreican Red Cross, among others, taught and recommended “The Schaffer Method” with the victim of drowning prone and the rescuer kneeling over him and applying a forward pressure at the base of the rib cage to expell air then allow nature to inspire fresh air. The oral cavity was initially swept out with a finger to remove vomit, and obstruction if any. The mine safety/rescue teams aslo taught/practiced the same.

The prone-pressure method departed with the advent of m-to-m techniques since it was much more effective.
It should be noted the m-to-m also requires chest compression and TWO rescuers to be really effective.
It will wear out one person in a relatively short time.

Other methods/variations also had periods of being the preferred method.

A bit of clarification here: CPR and rescue breathing (AKA mouth-to-mouth) are not the same thing. Rescue breathing is for use when the victim has stopped breathing, but the heart may still be working, and does not (in its modern form, at least) include chest compressions. CPR is needed when the victim’s heart has stopped. It includes rescue breathing (since if the heart is stopped, the lungs always will be as well), but also chest compressions to hopefully restart the heart. Full CPR is significantly more difficult than just rescue breathing, and requires more extensive training. It also has a higher chance of complications: It’s not uncommon, for instance, to break one or more of the victim’s ribs in the course of CPR.

A traditional method of treating drowning victims (well, not the dead ones), was to lay them face-down on a barrel, grab their arms and legs, and push and pull them over the barrel (this method can be seen in the Marion Davies movie Florodora Girl).