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History Of The Iron Lung

The iron lung was a device used to treat patients who had lost lung function due to polio in the 1950s. The large steel, airtight, cylindrical tank resembled a medieval torture device and was large enough to encapsulate a human body. John Bach, M.D., speaks with Sound Medicine about the history of the iron lung and the initial fear that surrounded the machine. Dr. Bach is on the faculty of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, where he directs research and clinical affairs in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.