18 Jul How girl who drowned herself in Paris became ‘most kissed face of all time’
How girl who drowned herself in Paris became ‘most kissed face of all time’
Millions of people around the world are familiar with her perplexing smile and she has been kissed more times than anyone in it!
This is the face behind the famous ‘First-Aid Dummy’, known as, ‘Resusci Annie’.
But behind her serene countenance, lies a story swathed in rumours of anguish and misfortune.
Also known as ‘L’Inconnue de la Seine’ – or ‘the unknown woman from the Seine’ was found drowned on the banks of the River Seine. Today, her Death Mask is used as the model for First Aid students all over the globe. They are always learning how to give the ‘Kiss of Life’ to someone who has stopped breathing. This face must be used in a special way, when carrying out CPR or Basic Life Support. The head must be thrust back to reveal the victims Airway. Now, pinch the nose and seal your mouth over the victim’s mouth. Carefully blow enough air into the mouth, being careful to not overfill the lungs. Remove your lips from the dummies mouth and then return with a second blow. You will then put two hands on the centre of their chest in line with the armpits and slightly to the left of centre. Start pushing up and down in a regular rhythmic action for 30 repetitions. Now, return to Annie and give her the Kiss of life. Until the victim starts breathing again, an ambulance arrives to take over or you can get assistance. Never give up!
“alignright size-medium wp-image-1781? />According to the famous Annie myth it was a cold morning on an uneventful day at the end of the 19th century. A young girl’s motionless body was pulled from Paris’s Quai François Mitterrand, which was then called, Quai du Louvre. She must have been rock bottom and desolate to be desperate enough to throw herself to the mercy of the ice cold water to her imminent death.
Aon investigation by the Paris Gendarme, they found no signs of violence or foul play and it was decided that the records would show that the mystery young woman had committed suicide. Speculation led to stories suggesting it was a case of unrequited love that provoked her death. In any case she went down in history and used to help save millions of lives all over the world.
According to his company website Asmund Laerdal, the founder of Laerdal Medical, based in Stavanger, Norway, became a pioneer for making resuscitation aids out of soft plastic and during the 1950s he developed Resusci Annie.
Asmund’s website says that he was so moved by the unknown woman’s heartrending background, he adopted her mask for his First-Aid doll.
He wholeheartedly believed that if his Annie mannequin were life-like, then students would be positively heroic to learn the lifesaving procedure! After all, breathing air into a person who has no air will give them a fighting chance to live. I am always telling my students off because they are not ensuring the victim of an accident has an Airway! We always say, in First Aid that an airway is essential because then, the victim is able to breath. 41 people died at the Hillsborough football stadium disaster, because they were left on their back unconscious.
Consequently, the victim’s airway became blocked leading to their death. Look at the picture below and you will see the illustration shows clearly a blocked airway caused by the tongue. The Hillsborough disaster was a human stampede, which resulted in the deaths of 96 people and injuries to 766 others, at a match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield, England on 15 April 1989. The disaster has since been blamed primarily on the police for letting too many people enter the stadium. It remains the worst stadium-related disaster in English Sports History, and one of the world’s worst football disasters.