iron lung

noun

Definition of iron lung

: a device for artificial respiration in which rhythmic alternations in the air pressure in a chamber surrounding a patient's chest force air into and out of the lungs

Examples of iron lung in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1989, Bennett donated materials from Phoenix Memorial Hospital, including an iron lung used to treat polio patients, to the Arizona State University Library. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, "Inside a cardboard box, a story of a life lived, a fight and the work yet to be done," 10 Oct. 2020 At the time, about 80 percent of bulbar polio patients died comatose in the iron lung. Bradley M. Wertheim, Smithsonian Magazine, "How a Polio Outbreak in Copenhagen Led to the Invention of the Ventilator," 10 June 2020 One state-of-the-art iron lung ventilator, and a few older, mostly impotent, devices. Bradley M. Wertheim, Smithsonian Magazine, "How a Polio Outbreak in Copenhagen Led to the Invention of the Ventilator," 10 June 2020 Roughly 5-10% of patients who caught paralytic polio died, although this number was far higher in the days before widespread use of the iron lung. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Among the Last in An Iron Lung," 26 May 2020 It is believed only two people in the United States use an iron lung today. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Polio, coronavirus draw eerie, similar parallels," 8 June 2020 The most ill patients were placed in an iron lung to assist their respiration. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "When polio fears forced the closure of Hoosier pools," 29 May 2020 External devices, such as the iron lung, were in short supply. Clayton Dalton, The New Yorker, "The Risks of Normalizing the Coronavirus," 27 May 2020 Recent news reports on the ventilator shortage are similar to the panic Shelley remembers over iron lungs. Christopher Dawson, CNN, "Advice to seniors from seniors about graduating in the time of a national crisis," 15 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'iron lung.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of iron lung

1930, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for iron lung

Time Traveler

The first known use of iron lung was in 1930

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Statistics for iron lung

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Iron lung.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/iron%20lung. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for iron lung

iron lung

noun

Medical Definition of iron lung

: a device for artificial respiration in which rhythmic alternations in the air pressure in a chamber surrounding a patient's chest force air into and out of the lungs especially when the nerves governing the chest muscles fail to function because of polio

called also Drinker respirator

More from Merriam-Webster on iron lung

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about iron lung

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