Polio patients in iron lungs in 1952: Past Imperfect Blog - Smithsonian.com (Photo: Wikipedia)

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This plastic doll in its own model iron lung was made in order to show child polio patients and their family the treatment the child would receive. An iron lung assists a patient whose breathing muscles have been paralysed by disease. Although the heyday of the iron lung was during the 1930s, 40s and 50s, some elderly polio survivors are still using them. The teaching doll was used at the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital in Alton, Hampshire, England. Credit: Science Museum London

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Polio treatment- The Iron Lung - A metal chamber, with a sliding base upon which the patient is place, an electrically operated pump, a gauge and a valve are the chief parts of the outfit. The patient is placed on the sliding bed, shoved into the cabinet and the shield tightly locked. A rubber collar, which fits so snugly that almost no air can pass, is adjusted about the patient's neck. A switch is turned, and the cabinet begins its work.

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LIFE photograph. children w/ polio in iron lung machine. look at little girl's dolly pinned up next to her...

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20 Vintage Photos of Iron Lungs for Polio Victims From Between the 1930s and 1950s

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What America Looked Like: Polio Children Paralyzed in Iron Lungs - Brian Resnick - The Atlantic

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Rows of irons lungs filled hospital wards at the height of the polio outbreaks of the 1940s and 1950s. Polio vaccination programs have virtually eradicated new cases of poliomyelitis in the United States. Because of this, and also the development of modern ventilators and widespread use of tracheal intubation and tracheotomy, the iron lung has virtually disappeared from modern medicine. For example, in 1959, there were 1,200 people using tank respirators in the United States, but by 2004…

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Every summer during the 1940s and 1950s, parents and children were terrorized by thoughts of the crippling disease of polio.

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Iron lungs sit unused in an abandoned state hospital somewhere in the US. There are a handful of people left in the US who these machines, and now no company will provide parts or service for them. Yet these sit here, and probably still work. http://www.pprg.org/index.php?option=com_content=article=76%3Airon-lung-crisis=35%3Aresource-articles=58

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Iron lung in the 1940s and 50's for polio. This was the fate of many who contracted polio. Terrible.

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