(June 7, 1928 - July 28, 2015 )
Born in Maple Lake, MN, USA
Year of Discovery: 1957
Surgeon Discovers Way to Restart Hearts Without Cutting!
James Jude, a cardiac surgeon in Florida, was part of a team of researchers that studied and perfected the chest compression method of external cardiac massage, a key element of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Closed-chest massage could maintain up to 40 percent of normal circulation; enough to save a life until the heart could successfully be restarted. He credits the beginning of his journey to this life saving discovery with marrying a women from Baltimore between his second and third year of medical school, and the series of events that followed.
Jude was in the laboratory one Saturday when Knickerbocker mentioned an observation that he had while conducting his defibrillation experiments. He told him how he detected a brief, temporary rise in blood pressure when the heavy copper electrodes were applied to the chest wall of a dog whose heart had stopped beating. Dr. Jude immediately recognized the significance of the observation, it was external cardiac massage!
Jude, Kouwenhoven and Knickerbocker quickly expanded the research experiments to determine if forceful, rhythmic pressure on the chest could cause enough blood to move through the body to sustain the vital organs. After a year of careful studies, they found that by performing external cardiac massage, they could extend the time to successful defibrillation (heart re-starting) and survival of a dog to over an hour! The team presented their exciting results to the director of the Department of Surgery, who gave permission for their work to be applied clinically, to actual patients. The first documented and successful case of their method being used on a human patient, a 35 year old woman, was in July 1959.
In 1960 the results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). They reported that 70% of the patients survived and were discharged from the hospital. The duration of chest compressions ranged from less than 1 minute to over an hour. The message was very clear: chest compressions buy time until the external defibrillator arrives to restart the heart with an electric jolt. "Anyone, anywhere, can now initiate cardiac resuscitative procedures. All that is needed is two hands" – JAMA 1960.
In the early 1960s Drs. Jude and Kouwenhoven travelled the United States and Puerto Rico presenting their method of external cardiac massage, combined with mouth to mouth resuscitation, creating CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In 1962 the training video, "The Pulse of Life” was created by Jude, Knickerbocker and Peter Safar. Kouwenhoven, Jude and Knickerbocker received the Hektoen Gold Medal of the American Medical Association for their work.
Of the 356,000 cardiac arrests that occurred outside a hospital in 2017, 46% received bystander CPR
If you sing The Bee Gees' song, “Stayin' Alive,” you'll have perfect rhythm, hitting the 100-120 beats per minute required for ideal chest compressions.
Youtube Video on How to Perform CPR
ScienceHeroes.com's Exclusive 2010 Interview With James Jude
Describe your office/desk. Is it tidy or messy?
Messy - No personal items.
What is one thing about you that people would be most surprised to find out?
I have been married to the same woman for 58 years. We have raised 7 children and have 13 grandchildren
Children: Roderick, John, Cecilia, Victoria, Peter, Robert, Christopher
About Your Research
Your Discovery Was
How many hours a week were you working when you made your most important discoveries?
Did the insight(s) that led to your discovery occur in an instant, on a specific day – or did it unfold over time?
Occurred gradually, on visits to the lab at Johns Hopkins Hospital, while living in Bethesda MD.
When did science first spark your imagination and arouse your passion?
Working with F. John Lewis while in medical school.
Who are your scientific heroes?
All researchers who are doing this for mankind.
What's the coolest thing about your work – what excites you the most?
Helping others and their gratitude.
On Improving Things
What is the current most pressing problem that if solved, could save the most lives?
Cure for Cancer.
Going forward, what is the most important thing scientists can do to save the most lives?
Every life is valuable, once conceived. We must, however, have a sustainable environment to hold them.
If you were to head up a foundation or the NIH, how would you change the way funding is granted?
Give it to hospitals and clinics that are nearer the problems.
Should the federal government devote more money to healthcare research (how much)?
Money will not solve our problems, education and ethics will, however.
What disturbs you about the current direction of scientific research and discovery?
Too dependent on funding.
What bothers you about science?
Those who are greedy, want something to patent, or whose objective in life is to win a Nobel Prize.
What would you change about the way science is taught, from elementary school through the university level?
Pay the teachers more. Reward, not monetarily, the best students. Teach more civics and sustainability with our environment.
What is one thing not taught in school that you believe should be?
What two suggestions do you have for students to prepare them for life?
Have a good education and a good religious basis.
What suggestion do you have for world leaders?
Remember they are here only a short time.
Fun Philosophical Questions
What would you like your tombstone to say?
He contributed to the “Dash”- the time between birth and death.
What’s your motto?
As per Ulysses, “To Strive, to Seek, to Find but Not to Yield.”
Imagine yourself on a leisurely journey with plenty of time for long conversation. Which famous people would you like to accompany you, and why?
My wife who would expound on sustainability; my children and grandchildren, who with their children will be our scientists and leaders in the future.
What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?
That there is life like ours elsewhere in this Universe.
Serious Philosophical Questions
What were the most meaningful experiences in your life?
Attending the funerals of such great people as Dan Paul (atty) and Marjory Stoneman Douglas (writer about the Everglades)
What is the meaning of life?
We are here but a brief period on this planet, and we should leave something other than family.
Are you religious?
Yes, Catholic, but everyone should believe in something and thus all should have a religion. We will all go sooner or later, even the Pharaohs found that out and their successors were the grave robbers. In 2.5 billion years there probably have been previously great civilizations. There is a location in Yellowstone where there are standing petrified trees. Great, but there are eleven layers of them.
What is something you believe that is important to you?
We are but a grain of sand on the beach, the Universe is unending, and overall there must be some control, i.e. a God.
What should humanity reflect upon?
We are here on our planet a very short time and, purely by chance, there are others, in this Universe, like us, probably ahead and also behind us. Keeping this in mind should make us humble.
James Jude and his sister Monica
Personal Reminiscences of the Origin and History of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Am Jr. of Cardiology 92:956-963.
By J.R. Jude, 2003.
Academic History: College of St. Thomas, St. Paul MN, 3 years1946-1949
Univ. of MN Medical School, 1949-1953 (BS 1950 MD 1953)
Career Appointments and Positions:
Instructor in Surgery, JHU 1961-62
Asst. Prof of Surgery, JHU 1962-4
Prof. of Surgery, Univ. of Miami 1964-1971
Clinical Prof of Surgery, Univ. of Miami 1971-
Awards / Prizes:
Hektoen Gold Medal, 1962; Hopkins Scholar, 2006
Links to More About the Scientist & the Science
Johns Hopkins Magazine Article on James Jude
Annals of Surgery 1961 Introductory Article on CPR
James Jude's Wikipedia Page
CPR's Wikipedia Page