The treatment of asphyxia has a twofold object: it should initiate respiration, but it should also satisfy respiratory needs until normal breathing is established. The usual methods of treating asphyxia neonatorum are inefficient in the latter respect.
Mildly asphyxiated infants respond fairly promptly to the customary means of initiating respiration, whereas more severely asphyxiated infants may make no attempt to breathe although the heart is beating vigorously. In the treatment of the latter group, the problem is one of effecting a respiratory interchange sufficient to meet the needs of the infant during that critical period; for it is quite likely that certain of these deeply asphyxiated infants will finally develop a normal respiratory activity, if life can be maintained long enough.
A machine has recently been developed by Philip Drinker1 by means of which prolonged artificial respiration has been successfully administered to adults and children suffering from acute respiratory
MURPHY DP, COYNE JA. THE USE OF A MODIFIED DRINKER RESPIRATOR IN TREATMENT OF ASPHYXIA NEONATORUM. JAMA. 1930;95(5):335-338. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720050023007