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So much has been written about breathing machines that it would be worth while for every one to read the report of this committee. It is authoritative and lacks the bias and hysteria that characterize so many pseudoscientific articles on the subject.
The committee first tried to determine the approximate number and types of patients in England and Wales who required the aid of breathing machines. It would seem that such statistics should also be available and easily obtained in the United States. Those who work in this field have had the impression that there are perhaps not so many patients who need respirators as is thought. That impression is confirmed by this report. Although the committee found that patients with poliomyelitis were in the majority, the group included persons with many other clinical disorders, such as postdiphtheritic paralysis, respiratory paralysis following administration of narcotics, acute toxic polyneuritis, progressive muscular
"Breathing Machines" and Their Use in Treatment.. Am J Dis Child. 1940;60(4):1004-1005. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1940.02000040223020