The iron lung has come a long way in the last century. Originally invented in the early 1900s to treat respiratory failure, the iron lung wasn’t used for long until it became a medical necessity for patients with tuberculosis. Today, the iron lung is still used to treat respiratory failure, but it’s also been adapted to treat numerous other conditions, from cerebral palsy to epilepsy. The iron lung has evolved and adapted to stay relevant in the medical field.
The iron lung was invented by Alfred Crosby in 1902. He developed this machine to treat respiratory failure in tuberculosis patients, who were especially vulnerable to their illness. Although it was originally created to help these patients, it soon became a necessity for them.
For the first few years of its existence, the iron lung was used almost exclusively by patients with tuberculosis. Crosby’s first patient, a woman named Mabel, was the first to go through the treatment successfully. However, after its use was publicized, many other patients were willing to undergo treatment with the iron lung, which made it difficult for Crosby to get any further funding for the device. As such, the first iron lung was donated by Crosby to the Mabel Lane Hospital in Boston, where it was used for the next thirty years.
Since the original iron lung was originally designed for patients with tuberculosis, it only worked well for patients suffering from the same disease.
How the Iron Lung Works
An iron lung is a machine that uses negative pressure to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) and replace it with oxygen.
The air inside the machine is pumped to a lower pressure than the air outside. This allows the air inside the machine to be less acidic, which in turn makes it more alkaline. This means that it is easier for the lungs to absorb oxygen.
The iron lung is connected to the patient’s airways so that the patient can breathe. Air is pumped into the lungs through a tracheotomy, and the iron lung covers this opening with a plastic membrane. As the patient breathes, the membrane forces the air from the tracheotomy into the airways. Oxygen is then absorbed inside the lungs, and carbon dioxide is removed from the body and expelled through the tracheotomy.
The History of the Iron Lung
The Iron Lung was invented in the early 1900s by Alfred Crosby. He was a student at Harvard Medical School in the late 19th century and was trying to find a new way to treat patients with tuberculosis. He observed the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which involves patients being placed in a pressurized chamber filled with 100% oxygen. He realized that if he could create a machine that could provide oxygen at the same pressure, he would be able to create a machine that could provide the same benefits. He designed the first iron lung based on this idea.
The first tracheotomy was created by Crosby in 1901, but it didn’t work very well. The procedure was very painful for patients, who often experienced severe infections as a result.
Iron Lung Today
Iron lungs are still used in some cases today, but they are mostly used for conditions that require the use of a positive air pressure breathing support system. These systems are often used for patients recovering from surgery or those who have chronic health conditions that make breathing easier.
The most common uses of an iron lung are for respiratory failure and to provide support for people with cerebral palsy.
Metal Lungs for Children
Metal lungs were invented in the 1950s by Dr. David Morehouse. He was the director of pediatric respiratory care at the University of Colorado, and he wanted a safer way to support children during respiratory treatments. He assumed that children would be more comfortable breathing with a plastic bag than with an iron lung, so he created metal lungs to help these patients breathe easy.
These metal lungs are similar to an iron lung, but they don’t use much air pressure. This makes them much safer for young patients and doesn’t require them to be put into an iron lung for treatment.
A metal lung is a rigid plastic bag that has a large opening in the bottom. This allows the patient’s head to stick out of the bag, and it provides plenty of room for a child to breathe comfortably.
The bag can be filled with water to provide a cushion, which makes it easier for children to lie down while breathing.
Final Words: Breathe Easier with an Iron Lung
The iron lung is still used today to treat respiratory failure, but it has also been used to treat other conditions, like cerebral palsy.
The iron lung is a machine that uses negative pressure to remove carbon dioxide and replace it with oxygen.
The iron lung is connected to the patient’s airways so that they can breathe, and air is pumped into their lungs through a tracheotomy.
Nowadays, iron lungs are mostly used for respiratory failure, but they can also be used for cerebral palsy.
Iron lungs are very safe, but they can sometimes be painful for patients, they can be hard to breathe in, but it's important to relax and breathe slowly and calmly.