In captivity giant machine, or how people lived, breathed that "iron lungs"?
Close your eyes a moment and imagine that your entire body is clad in a huge close a steel trap. You can barely move his arms and legs, and all day long staring at the ceiling in anticipation of yet tired nurse bring you a glass of water or a spoon you feed the hospital cooking. No, it's not some warped medieval torture and not the plot of a new popular horror movie.
In fact, you can at any time request that somebody nearby opened the lid of the device and let you free, but you never do it not for one simple reason: this grotesque machine - the only thing that sustains life in your body and It allows you to breathe.
Meet the device pictured above is called "iron lungs", and now it is, perhaps, can be found only in medical museums and thematic documentary chronicles. But in the 20-ies of the last century, when the ruthless polio spared almost no one, iron lungs became a real salvation for people who insidious disease made it impossible to breathe on their own. Today we decided to tell our readers about how the people lived who were held captive by this horrible and grotesque apparatus will of fate.
What is it?
Iron lungs fully came into use in 1928, when the United States, more and more people have died from paralysis of the respiratory center caused by the polio virus. The idea of the device was simple and brilliant at the same time. In fact, he was a two-meter fan, inside which were placed all the human body up to the neck. Negative pressure is created inside the machine, it is pushed precious izmuchal oxygen into the lungs of the patient, thereby maintaining the life therein.
They had to eat and drink, lying on his back
The first thing to learn what had patients, prisoners inside the machine, do it all, lying on his back, including eating and drinking. Retreat iron lungs each spoonful of food and every sip of water turned into a deadly ordeal. People in the unit had to adjust every move under the internal fan rhythm after taking a sip at a time when the system pressure pushes the air into the lungs, can be easily drown and die of suffocation.
However, some of them even managed to smoke
Some people even complete paralysis of the respiratory muscles could not get to give up a favorite habit. This photograph was taken in 1949 in a hospital in St. Louis, and imprinted on it a young man named Luis Abercrombie, whose polio in the long and painful years, made a prisoner of the iron lung. For Louis and many other unfortunate people who shared his fate, the prospect of living without nicotine was far more frightening than the prospect of dying of suffocation, so in addition to food and drink caring nurses, tired of the constant shouting and requests to smoke, had to bring it to his lips immobilized patients and cigarettes too. By the way, in this picture Luis smokes cigarettes "Camel".
Sixty years of captivity in the iron
Some people managed to live a full life, even chained in a cage of iron lungs. At Diane Odell shot, which lay in a metal capsule for more than 60 years and during that time managed to get a higher education, and even to defend a thesis to write a book of fairy tales. Woman died in 2008 in a completely stupid and tragic reason. In the house where Diana lived with family, turn off the power, and the family was unable at the time to start a standby generator, which again would make iron lungs work.
On the walk
A huge steel machine reaches two meters long, weighed more than 100 kilograms, and worked on the network, but even this did not prevent the hospital staff to bring one of his patients on the kind of outing sunny summer days. Surely, nurses and orderlies had a lot of work to find a long enough cord and pull the device out into the street, but look at the happy face of a man who may have seen the sky above his head for the first time in several years.
Communication with the outside world
This frame was made in 2015. The man in the photo name is Paul Alexander, and he was in the top ten in the world last prisoners of the iron lung. Modern doctors have long learned to cope with the effects of polio with a more compact technology, but for Paul, who lay in the machine, since 1952, the risk of transition to a new type of fan was too high. However, the iron lung did not prevent Paul get three higher education, worked for many years as a successful lawyer and communication with the outside world after a well-deserved retirement.