Saving Lives: EEI Celebrates National CPR/AED Awareness Week
June 2021
During National CPR/AED Awareness Week—June 1-7, 2021—EEI is highlighting the critical importance of knowing how to save lives by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using an automated external defibrillator (AED). 

In cardiac arrest, every second counts. If you see someone collapse, know your “Cardiac Arrest 1-2-3”: 
  1. Call 9-1-1. 
  2. Start CPR. 
  3. Use an AED. 
The website of the American Red Cross offers links to CPR and AED classes near you, as well as other training and awareness resources.

EEI also salutes the forerunners of today’s lifesaving CPR techniques and AED technology. An electrical engineer named Dr. William Kouwenhoven, Ph.D., and his team at Johns Hopkins University began working on techniques to reverse the effects of accidental electrocution in 1928, and their work led to lifesaving open-heart defibrillation. 

In 1950, EEI provided a research grant to Kouwenhoven’s team to develop an external defibrillator that could be used to save lives in the field. This led to the first closed-chest defibrillator in 1957 and, in 1958, with the help of a canine “assistant,” to the discovery of CPR using only the hands. Learn more from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Journal of Emergency Medical Services

Kouwenhoven later became the first recipient of an honorary degree conferred by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Edison Medal.