Did you know that the CPR mannequin Resusci Anne, also known as Rescue Anne or CPR Annie, has a Buffalo connection? First introduced in 1960 “she” was developed by a Norwegian toy maker named Åsmund Laerdal who named her after his very popular doll “Anne” (1). The face of the mannequin was modeled on the death mask of a young girl called “L’inconnue de la Seine” who had drowned in the Seine River in Paris sometime in the 1880’s (2). Laerdal based the design of Anne’s respiratory structure on research done by anesthesiologists Dr. Peter Safar and Dr. James O. Elam (3).
Now here’s where the Buffalo connection comes in: Dr. Elam, co-founded the Department of Anesthesiology at Buffalo’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute. His work in mechanical ventilation and artificial respiration revolutionized the field of anesthesiology (4). Additionally, Dr. Elam, along with fellow Roswell Park physician Dr. Elwyn S. Brown, was the first to describe how to provide mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, also known as “rescue breathing” (5).
Resusci Anne and her descendants are still made by the Laerdal Company today. So when you next attend a CPR class, take a moment to appreciate the international, and local, styling/history of the mannequin from which you are learning!
1-3. Tjomsland, N; Baskett, P. The Resuscitation Greats: Asmund S. Laerdal, Resuscitation; 2002, 53: 115-9.
4. Sands, R.P; Bacon, D.R. An Inventive Mind: The Career of James O. Elam, M.D. (1918–1995), Anesthesiology; 1998, 88(4): 1107–12.
5. Peppriell JE.; et.al. The development of academic anesthesiology at the Roswell Park Memorial Institute:, Anesth Analg; 1991 Apr, 72(4):538-45.