What is Resusci Anne?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2019
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Resusci Anne is a popular cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training dummy introduced in 1960 by Åsmund S. Lærdal of Norway. Also known as Rescue Anne or Rescue Annie, the dummy is sold all over the world so that laypeople and professionals can learn CPR skills. Some Resusci Anne dolls also come with features which can allow various medical traumas to be simulated, offering additional training opportunities.

The basic Resusci Anne consists of a torso and head with changeable airways and removable masks. The airways can be changed to simulate various situations which may arise while giving CPR, while the masks are utilized for sanitation during CPR training, allowing many students to use the same dummy without passing microbes on to each other. Resusci Anne is also available in the form of a full body dummy, which allows people to practice moving and positioning bodies during CPR and other first aid procedures.

Basic units are used to show students how to position a body properly for CPR, and how to perform CPR effectively and safely. Some units come with computer sensors which provide feedback or allow the instructor to simulate medical situations. For example, Resusci Anne might “die” if a student failed to clear her airway or did not perform compressions hard enough. Likewise, an instructor could use the computer to simulate a complication, such as a closure of the airway caused by allergies.


These medical practice dummies can also be made up with various medical problems, like broken limbs, severe cuts, and so forth, allowing people to practice a wide range of first aid responses. Practicing on a Resusci Anne gives people an opportunity to see what it feels like to handle the weight of an unresponsive human body while they perform first aid. The dummy is also used to remind people of the ABC's of first aid: trainees are supposed to approach the doll saying “Anne? Anne? Are you OK?” to reinforce the idea that only nonresponsive patients need CPR, as a response from a victim indicates that he or she has a reasonably stable airway and is breathing, allowing responders to move on to check the patient's circulation.

A number of legends swirl around the face of the Resusci Anne doll. Some urban legends claim that the face is modeled after the inventor's dead daughter. In fact, the face is a copy of the death mask of l'inconnue de la Seine, an unknown young woman who drowned in Paris in the late 1800s. Her story captured the public, and her death mask was widely circulated, eventually being adopted as the model for the face of the Resusci Anne dummy.


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