How to Resuscitate a Drowning Victim in 1916

"It is a poor thing to look for reward, as it destroys the satisfaction of the deed; furthermore, the chances are that if your act was a really meritorious one, you will not get it."
modernswimminga01browgoog_0171.jpg

From Modern Swimming: An Illustrated Manual:

First, be quick; lose no time; every second counts in the race with death.

Second, loosen all clothing.

Third, lift the body between you, with the head hanging down ... Grasp it by the upper arms with a good hold and seize the front part of the legs with the hands by passing the arms between them.

Fourth, shake the body up and down two or three times so as to free the mouth and nostrils from slime and water.

Fifth, place the victim upon his back ...

Sixth, draw the tongue well forward and tie it with your handkerchief so that it will not fall back and block the pharynx, thus choking the individual and making all your efforts useless.

resus2.jpg

Begin artificial breathing, by taking hold of the forearms ... and drawing them up and back of the head. Have your assistant place his hands upon the lower sides of the chest and ... have him press the chest walls well in, releasing the pressure when the arms have reached their destination ... The arms should be moved with precision and regularity at the rate of from sixteen to eighteen times a minute.

As soon as respiration is natural ... give him access to all the fresh air possible. Do not talk or smoke around him.

Presented by

Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon and a former writer and producer for The Atlantic's Health Channel.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Health

Just In