Iron Lung

January 2009
World Book Science Dataset;1/1/2009, p1
Reference Entry
Iron Lung, a mechanical device that induces breathing in persons who are unable to breathe normally. It consists of a metal chamber with pumps. The patient's chest or entire body (except for the head) is enclosed within the chamber and the pumps raise and lower the air pressure within the chamber, forcing the lungs to expand and contract at their normal rate. It is used for long-term care of persons suffering severe paralysis due to a form of polio called bulbar polio. Formerly, it was also used for milder cases of bulbar polio and for reviving nearly drowned or nearly suffocated persons. For these cases, it has been largely replaced by smaller ventilating machines that introduce air into the lungs through a mouthpiece or face mask.


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