Ventilator History

- The first description of positive-pressure ventilation was accredited to Andreas
Vesalius, an anatomist and physician born in Brussels, Belgium on December 31, 1514.

"... an opening must be attempted in the trunk of the trachea, into which a tube of
reed or cane should be put; you will then blow into this, so that the lung may rise
again and the heart becomes strong ...  Andreas Vesalius (1555)

  In 1955, 400 years later, the polio epidemic demanded an alternative to the iron lung (negative
pressure assist).  In Sweden, all medical schools were shut down and medical students worked
8 hour shifts manually ventilating polio victims.  At the same time, the Emerson company in
Boston, Massachusetts prototyped a positive-pressure ventilation device which was successfully
tested at Massachusetts General Hospital, ushering in the era of positive pressure ventilation and with
it the new science of intensive care medicine.

- The ICU Book - Paul L. Marino
Subpages (1): Modes of Ventilation