Honoring the legacy of Anita Dorr, RN, FAEN - Emergency Nursing Innovator
Anita Dorr began her 24 years at Meyer Memorial Hospital as an emergency room nurse, including supervision of the Emergency Department, and it was that experience that shaped her career as one of the most infl uential emergency nurses in the nation. She was the co-founder and the fi rst executive director of the Emergency Department Nurses Association (ENA), now an international organization with over 55,000 members. But it was her development of the crash cart that secures her legacy. It is now used in hospitals throughout the world where it is an essential component of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, endotracheal intubation, and the treatment of lethal arrhythmias. She and her husband developed and built the red-painted wooden prototype at their home in the mid-1960s. It had wheels and a laminate top and was designed to hold all the most essential tools and drugs needed in a medical crisis, particularly for a patient in cardiac arrest. Originally known as the Dorr Cart or Crisis Cart, today the crash cart is essentially a steel cabinet on wheels comprised of a set of drawers containing defi brillators, advanced cardiac life support drugs and other essential items deemed necessary by the hospital. During World War II, Anita Dorr served with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in Africa and Europe and attained the rank of captain. Before her death in 1972, she attended guards and prisoners during the uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility and also served as a consultant to Paramount Pictures for its medical television programs.