062 - The aid to apparently asphyxiated and drowned persons in XIXth Century. The method of Filippo Pacini

Autor(s): G. Dall'Olio

Issue: RIMeL - IJLaM, Vol. 5, N. 1, 2009 (MAF Servizi srl ed.)

Page(s): 62-67

Filippo Pacini, professor of Topographic Anatomy at the University of Florence, in 1867 proposed a method of artificial respiration for the aid of apparently asphyxied and drowned people. Pacini’s method as well as the technique described in 1863 by Henry R. Silvester were, in the second half of XIXth Century, a valid alternative to ineffective and obsolete methods of Leroy d’Etiolle (1829) and of Marshall Hall (1856) and to more obsolete blowing of tobacco smoke into the victim’s rectum or dangereous air inflation of lungs practised with bellows. In 1870, the Royal Humane Society of London, setup a committee for the evaluation of Pacini’s and Silvester’s methods used in cases of apparent death. Unclear and contradictory conclusions were drawn with no final answer about the properties of the two methods. Pacini, who knew advantages and disadvantages of the two methods suggested, in some cases, the alternate use of either of them to take advantage from their best properties.

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