Professor Peter J. Safar, MD (1924–2003): unbelievable life career


Authors: J. Pokorný, sen.
Authors‘ workplace: Komise pro historii oboru ČSARIM
Published in: Anest. intenziv. Med., 18, 2007, č. 5, s. 305-314
Category: History

Overview

When describing the lifelong work of Professor Peter Safar, his colleagues and successors Ake Grenvik and Patrick Kochanek called their teacher the Michelangelo of acute medicine. Just as Michelangelo Buonarotti (1475–1564) became the acknowledged and unsurpassed universal fine artist of the climax of renaissance when he created unique works of sculpture, painting, architecture and even poetry, the anaesthesiologist Peter Safar achieved worldwide acknowledgement for the scientific evidence, creation and general introduction of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and following this the introduction and development of modern prehospital and hospital critical care. He is the author of the term “brain resuscitation“. He laid down the foundations of the whole specialty of acute medicine: intensive care, emergency medicine and disaster medicine. During the Cold War he actively worked with academic V. A. Negovsky from Moscow and his Research Institute of General Reanimatology of the Academy of the Medical Sciences of the USSR.

For many long years he worked closely with anaesthesiologists – researchers of former Czechoslovakia H. Keszler and myself. Peter Safar extended his humanitarian activities beyond the frame of medicine to the world of international politics. In the time when the world was endangered by a nuclear disaster, he formed the organization International Physicians for Prevention of the Use of Nuclear Weapons. He was the founder of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM) and of the Society for Critical Care Medicine – the two professional organizations expressing his vision of continuous medical care.

Key words:
history of anaesthesiology – cardiopulmonary resuscitation – brain resuscitation – emergency medicine – distaster medicine


Labels
Anaesthesiology, Resuscitation and Inten Intensive Care Medicine
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