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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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What America Looked Like: Polio Children Paralyzed in Iron Lungs

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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Salk, Sabin and the Race Against Polio

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

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once again, as I researched, I found a woman that lived in an iron lung until 2008. Dianne Odell had been confined to an iron lung for nearly 60 years. She was diagnosed with polio before the polio vaccine was invented. Odell lived in an iron lung because she had a severe case of polio – bulbar polio – which had left her paralyzed and unable to breathe on her own.

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Nurses at Children's Hospital Tending Young Polio Patients Contained in Iron Lung Room

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

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Hansel Mieth, Iron Lung Girl, 1938.

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