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Sir Edward Sharpey-Schafer and his simple and efficient method of performing artificial respiration

      When Sir Edward Sharpey-Schafer died in 1935, at the age of 84, one obituary referred to him as one of the world’s most distinguished physiologists, “whose name is very widely known to the general public, for his method of giving artificial respiration in the prone position has been adopted by all those who have to do with ambulance work and teach the means of saving life” [

      Anonymous. Obituary, Sir Edward Sharpey-Schafer: Brit Med J 1935;1:741-742

      ]. Schäfer’s eponymous method, first described in 1903, was recommended in successive editions of the “American Red Cross: First Aid Textbook” until 1959, when the whispers of its detractors rose to a clamour for its abandonment and replacement by mouth-to-mouth respiration [

      Drinker P, Shaw LA. The prolonged administration of artificial ventilation. J Franklin Inst 1932;213:355-372.

      ,

      Eve FC. Complacency in resuscitation of the drowned. Brit Med J 1943;1:535-537.

      ,

      Comroe JH, Dripps RD. Artificial respiration. JAMA 1946;130:381-383.

      ,

      Heimlich HJ. Subdiaphragmatic pressure to expel water from the lungs of drowning persons. Ann Emerg Med 1981;10:476-480.

      ].
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      References

      1. Anonymous. Obituary, Sir Edward Sharpey-Schafer: Brit Med J 1935;1:741-742

      2. Drinker P, Shaw LA. The prolonged administration of artificial ventilation. J Franklin Inst 1932;213:355-372.

      3. Eve FC. Complacency in resuscitation of the drowned. Brit Med J 1943;1:535-537.

      4. Comroe JH, Dripps RD. Artificial respiration. JAMA 1946;130:381-383.

      5. Heimlich HJ. Subdiaphragmatic pressure to expel water from the lungs of drowning persons. Ann Emerg Med 1981;10:476-480.

      6. Anonymous. Obituary, Sir Edward Sharpey-Schafer. Lancet 1935;1:843-845.

      7. Talbott JH. Sir E. A. Sharpey-Schafer (1850-1935). In: A Biographical History of Medicine. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1970:953-956.

      8. Comroe Jr JH, “…In comes the good air.” Pt.I. Rise and fall of the Schäfer method. Am Rev Resp Dis 1979;119:803-809.

      9. Schäfer EA. Description of a simple and efficient method of performing artificial respiration in the human subject, to which is appended instructions for the treatment of the apparently drowned. Med Chir Trans 1904;87: 609-614 (discussion pp. 615-623).

      10. Schäfer EA. The relative efficiency of certain methods of performing artificial respiration in man. Proc Roy Soc Edin 1903;25:39-50.

      11. Bowles RL. Resuscitation of the apparently drowned. Med Chir Trans 1889;72:407-431.

      12. Church WS, Champneys FH, Haward JW, et al: Resuscitation of the apparently drowned. Report of the committee appointed by the Council of the Royal Society of Medicine to consider the request of the Chief Surgeon to the Metropolitan Police that the society should pronounce as to the best method to be adopted. Proc Roy Soc Med 1908;2:1-8.

      13. Keith A. Three Hunterian lectures on the mechanism underlying the various methods of artificial respiration practised since the foundation of The Royal Humane Society in 1774. Lancet 1909;1: 745-749, 825-828, 895-899.

      14. Schäfer EA. Artificial respiration in man. In: Harvey Lectures. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1907-8;223-243. Philadelphia.

      15. Gordon AS, Sadove MS, Raymon F, et al. Critical survey of manual artificial respiration. JAMA 1951;147:1444-1453.

      16. Comroe Jr JH, “…In comes the good air.” Pt.II. Mouth-to-mouth method. Am Rev Resp Dis 1979;119:1025-1031.