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February 26, 2003

Negative-Pressure Ventilation

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(8):983. doi:10.1001/jama.289.8.983a

To the Editor: In his Contempo Updates article about noninvasive ventilation (NIV), Dr Brochard1 only briefly mentioned negative-pressure ventilators, the best known of which was the Drinker respirator, also called the iron lung.

The use of this whole-body ventilator subsided with the advent of the positive-pressure ventilator. Although not physiological, it had several advantages: small size, simplicity of operation, and small dedicated floor space. It also facilitated physical access to the patient, allowing closer attention to wounds, pressure points, various catheters, intravenous injections, and bedclothes.

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