100 YEARS AGO
Prof. Schäfer, F.R.S., describes a simple and efficient method of performing artificial respiration in the human subject, especially in cases of drowning... Immediately the patient is recovered from the water he is placed face downwards, the head being turned sideways so that the mouth and nose are unobstructed, with a folded coat under the lower part of the chest; if respiration has ceased every instant of delay is serious. The operator then places himself athwart, or on one side of, the patient's body in a kneeling posture and facing the head. He places his hands flat over the lower part of the back (on the lowest ribs), one on each side, and gradually throws the weight of his body on to them so as to produce firm pressure — which must not be violent — on the patient's chest. This compresses the chest, and air (and water if there be any) is driven out of the patient's lungs. He then raises his body slowly so as to remove the pressure, still keeping his hands in position. This process of applying pressure and of relaxation of pressure by the forward and backward movement of the operator's body is repeated every four or five seconds without any marked pause between the movements. This course must be pursued for at least half an hour, or until the natural respirations are resumed... If there be means, others may remove the wet clothing by cutting it off, and may apply hot flannels to the body and limbs and hot bottles to the feet.
From Nature 4 August 1904.
50 YEARS AGO
The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has announced that a heavy-water reactor (or atomic pile) which has been built at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, is now in operation. ‘Dimple’ is a low-powered thermal neutron research reactor. The heavy-water moderator is contained in a tank which is surrounded by a graphite neutron reflector. Outside this is a concrete radiation shield. The reactor fuel is submerged in the heavy water. Both the type of fuel and its arrangement in the tank can be changed quickly so that what is, in effect, a different design of reactor can be built up in a matter of days... The versatility of Dimple will make it an extremely valuable tool in the design of future power-producing reactors and for measuring essential constants in reactor physics.
From Nature 7 August 1954.