Healing hands: Minnesota native who helped invent CPR dies at age 87

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You might not have heard of Dr. James Jude, but you're certainly familiar with the lifesaving technique he helped pioneer.

The Minnesota-born Jude led the way in developing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, better known as CPR. He died last week at his home in Coral Gables, Florida, the New York Times reports.

According to the paper, Jude was a resident at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore in 1959 when he restored the heartbeat of a woman who had gone into cardiac arrest during a gall bladder operation. He did so by applying rhythmic pressure to her chest – a departure from the usual technique, which involved invasive chest surgery and heart massage.

The doctor and his fellow researchers called the new innovation “heart-lung resuscitation,” but as the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reports, the American Heart Association thought CPR sounded better, and history was made.

The publication says Jude was born in Maple Lake, Minnesota, and eventually attended the University of Minnesota before working at Johns Hopkins.

The Miami Herald, which called him the “father of modern cardiopulmonary resuscitation,” says he died of complications related to Parkinson's disease.

Jude was 87 years old.

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