Father Of CPR Dies In Rancho Mirage

Dr. Max Harry Weil Credited With Saving Thousands Of Lives

POSTED: 12:29 PM PDT Sep 06, 2011    UPDATED: 04:44 AM PDT Aug 01, 2011 

Dr. Max Henry Weil, a man credited with saving "thousands and thousands of lives," died at his Rancho Mirage, Calif., home on Friday at the age of 84.

He died of an undisclosed illness with his family around him.

Just last week, Weil's accomplishments were hailed in Washington, where Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., paid tribute to the man who 50 years ago established a nonprofit public foundation at the University of Southern California School of Medicine.

The philosophy of his medical foundation was basic: life-threatened patients have a substantially better chance of survival if minute-to-minute care is provided by highly trained physicians and nurses in emergency rooms and in special intensive care, coronary care, and postoperative care units.

During his tenure, Weil developed the concept of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

It revolutionized medicine, his colleagues said.

Nelson and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., honored that innovation "in recognizing an extraordinary Californian who has done so much, not just to save lives in his community but to advance the practice of medicine in order to save lives around the world."

During his career, Weil co-founded the Weil Institute of Critical Care Medicine, an international center for clinical education and research in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

The institute is renowned for conducting groundbreaking research into finding new ways of monitoring and dealing with life-threatening circulatory shock, heart failure, acute lung failure and infections.

Weil's memorial service will be held Oct. 29.