Resusci Anne’s Kiss of Life

Do you know how to save a life? Where did you go wrong? Did you lose a friend? Well, if you had been able to work up the courage and common sense to tangle tongues and swap spit with one very hard bodied little lady, you might have saved that friend’s life. Instead, you were too busy doing whatever it is you were doing and now you’re dressed in black and not because its so darn slimming and matches those cute new shoes you bought.

I’m referring of course to Resusci Anne, the original model for CPR dummies. From the BBC:

This is how her story goes. Some time in the late 19th century, the drowned body of a young woman was recovered from the River Seine. As was customary in those days, her body was put on display at the Paris mortuary, in the hope that someone would recognize and identify her. The pathologist on duty became so entranced by the face of the girl with the enigmatic half-smile that he asked a moulder to take a plaster cast of her face.

The mould became so popular that it became one of those things people hang in their homes. You know, like how every chintzy gift shop in the nice part of town sells death masks. Freakin’ French.

Anyway, In 1955 a young boy nearly drowned and his father was lucky enough to be able to pull him from the water. His father, a man named Asmund Laerdal, had seen the mould of the drowned girl with the peaceful face in his grandparent’s place and when he was coincidentally approached to design a model for the CPR dummy, he knew just the face to use. And so the circle of life continued on. Anne would go on to become the most popular CPR dummy.

Some certifiers use a much less human dummy (your call as to what’s more creepy), but still the point stands, from death there is life and yada yada yada, and the rest is history.

photo credit: flickr user ~aorta~, Creative Commons