The introduction of expired air resuscitation into Surf Life Saving Australia

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Surf Life Saving Australia, which began in the early 1900s, initially adopted the indirect resuscitation methods used by the Royal Life Saving Society. As new indirect methods became available, both organisations adapted their resuscitation techniques and followed international developments closely. In the 1950s, accumulating evidence suggested that direct methods of resuscitation, such as mouth-to-mouth ventilation, might be more efficacious. Subsequently a number of investigations were carried out in Sydney at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on anaesthetised and paralysed patients. These experiments were recorded for an ABC documentary and reported at the International Convention on Life Saving Techniques held in Sydney in March 1960. Following the convention, Queensland Surf Life Saving conducted training sessions in cooperation with anaesthetists Roger Bennett and Tess Brophy (later Cramond), at St Andrew's Hospital in Brisbane. Two volunteers were anaesthetised and paralysed on two separate weekends to allow over one hundred people to gain experience in expired-air and bag-mask ventilation. One of the volunteers in these training exercises kindly provided much of the material that led to this paper, providing a first hand account of the experiments and an invaluable insight into the cooperation between anaesthetists and volunteer rescue associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Australia
  • expired air respiration
  • mouth-to-mouth
  • resuscitation
  • surf lifesaving

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