The Iron Lung | Science Museum - Deepstash

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The Iron Lung | Science Museum

The Iron Lung | Science Museum

sciencemuseum.org.uk

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Imagine the terror of not being able to breathe because your lung muscles are paralysed. You're gasping for air as the medical team slides you into something that looks like a coffin on legs. They seal you in up to your neck and a strange 'whooshing' sound starts ...

What's An Iron Lung?

The coffin-like cabinet respirator—better known as the 'iron lung'—was the state-of-the-art in life support technology in the first half of the 20th century. The first iron lung was used at Boston Children's Hospital to save the life of an eight-year-old girl with p...

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What kind of patients it treated? Patients with ACUTE POLIO
  2. Why? Because patients with polio had symptoms of ACUTE MUSCLE PARALYSIS and if it affected the chest, the patient could not breathe.
  3. How is ...

Examples Of Iron Lung

The Smith-Clarke Baby cabinet respirator, with built-in pump was made at the request of a paediatrician, 1956-1970. It influenced the later development of incubators for babies.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR THE PATIENT?

Going into an iron lung was a bewildering process for patients, many of whom were delirious and in extreme pain.

Life in an iron lung was difficult for both patient and carers. The numerous tasks involved in treating the patient included:

  • blood transfusions

Is It Still Used Today?

Once an effective polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s, the incidents of polio infection fell dramatically and only a very few machines were needed in hospitals. But patients dependent on them to breathe the old iron lungs were gradually replaced with modern...

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