Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 7th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Born on this Day in 1924 Kiss of Life
12 April 2017

Kiss of Life

Heart attacks can prove fatal but urgent medical attention can help people to survive. Key to survival is keeping oxygen levels high even when the heart has stopped beating. Peter Safar, an Austrian anaesthetist, developed a way to do this in the 1950s. He established a sequence of tilting a person’s head back to open up their airways, followed by mouth-to-mouth breathing, known as the 'kiss of life', and chest compressions. This sequence of airways, breathing and compression is known as the A-B-C system of resuscitation. It forms the basis of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, known as CPR. Today CPR is commonly used in modern emergency medicine and helps to save lives. Safar first saw the need for resuscitation when working as a nurse on the front line during World War II. He later worked with a doll maker to build mannequins for CPR training, and these are still used today.

Written by Deborah Oakley

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.