Friday, November 1, 2013

A Halloween Story

This seems like an appropriate day to relay the story of Annie, the CPR dummy. I like to listen to historical ghost stories on NPR & came across this on Radio Lab. (See link below)

"Near the end of the 19th century, a mysterious young woman with a beguiling smile turned up in Paris. She became a huge sensation. She also happened to be dead. You'd probably recognize her face yourself. You might have even touched it.

Long ago, death masks were a common way of preserving the faces of famous people; surviving clay molds were made of Napoleon, Beethoven & Lincoln. One of the most famous death masks was of a woman who wasn't famous at all, while she was alive. Her face, known simply as "L'inconnue de la Seine", (the unknown woman of the Seine), eventually found her way into classrooms across Europe & eventually the United States.

In 1960, an Austrian named Dr. Peter Safar was just developing the basics of CPR & needed a way for people to practice his new method. He tracked down a talented toy maker in Norway named Asmund Laerdal, who had constructed prosthetic wounds for use in military training. Little did Laerdal know that Safer had a compelling, personal reason for getting involved. Laerdal decided the best way to learn artificial resuscitation would be to practice on a 'dummy' & all he needed was the perfect face......"

Listen to Podcast:

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