The Safar Center was initiated as the International Resuscitation Research
Center (IRRC) in 1979 by Dr. Peter Safar. In the late 1950s, Dr.
Safar pioneered the development of the ABCs (airway, breathing,
circulation) of resuscitation, including the technique of "mouth-to-mouth"
resuscitation, and assembled these techniques, together with others,
into what is currently known and implemented as cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR). The study and application of additional steps
of advanced and prolonged life support led to the development of
the concept of cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation (CPCR). In
the 1970s, Dr. Safar and his associates initiated research into
cerebral resuscitation from cardiac arrest, and also initiated "disaster
reanimatology" as a field of research.
In 1994, at age 70, Dr. Safar stepped down as director of the IRRC
in a desire to transfer leadership to the next generation. Dr. Patrick
Kochanek's first act as new director of the IRRC was to rename the
facility the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research in honor of
its founder. Dr. Safar is Distinguished Professor of Resuscitation
Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and an investigator and
advisor to the center. Between 1979 and 1998, the multidisciplinary
center has trained over 70 physician-scientists.