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I think it is clear to all that the subject of the use of the respirator is included in this program not because of its scientific importance as compared with the other matters discussed but because the respirator has aroused a great deal of interest and obtained a dramatic hold on the lay mind, and because the question of its use confronts a physician in respect to every patient who dies a victim of poliomyelitis.
The most important problem that arises, and the one that first enters the mind, is one for which I cannot offer a statistical answer, nor do I think it is worth long discussion here. The question concerns the ultimate value of the respirator in the treatment of poliomyelitis, and it arises because of the painful experience that physicians have had with patients who have survived after long and expensive dependence on a respirator but who
WILSON JL. THE USE OF THE RESPIRATOR. JAMA. 1941;117(4):278–279. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.72820300026006d