World Restart A Heart Day - October 16
(Last Updated On: November 9, 2022)


On October 16th, World Restart a Heart Day creates awareness that everyone can learn CPR and other basic life-saving techniques. The day also recognizes the number of lives saved each year by CPR.

Who invented CPR? This question might seem like an easy one to answer. However, this isn’t the case as CPR has evolved through the years. Throughout history, doctors and surgeons have tried to develop the best way to restart a heart after it has stopped beating.

CPR Timeline

The 1500s to 1800s – Practitioners used various versions of the Bellows Method. This method used fireplace bellows to force air into the lungs. As they made more advances in medicine, they also introduced more effective methods.

1732 – William Tossach, a surgeon from Scotland, first successfully used mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. However, in 1782, the Bellows Method became the preferred way to inflate the lungs artificially.

1874 – Research conducted by physiologist Moritz Shiff showed that heart massage can restore circulation.

1891 – Dr. Friedrich Maass from Germany became the first to advocate chest compressions to restart the heart.

1933 – Researchers at Johns Hopkins University discovered that using external chest compression provided adequate circulation. An electrical engineer named William Kouwenhoven led the research. Many consider him the founder of modern CPR.

1957- Kouwenhoven’s team unveiled a prototype of the first portable external defibrillator.

1960 – Kouwenhoven and other resuscitation pioneers combined mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with external chest compressions.

This method became known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). According to the American Heart Association (AHA), up to 200,000 lives each year could be saved if CPR was performed early enough.

HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldRestartAHeartDay

On this day, healthcare professionals and heart associations worldwide educate the general public on how to perform CPR. It’s also a day for people to share stories of how CPR saved their life. The best way to participate is to commit to learning CPR and other life-saving techniques. You can also spread awareness for this day on social media with #WorldRestartAHeartDay.


In 2013, the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) introduced the European Restart a Heart Initiative. As an extension of this successful endeavor, the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCR) began World Restart a Heart (WRAH) in 2018. Thanks to the support of the European Parliament, World Restart A Heart Day was formed and is observed every year on October 16th.


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