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March 21, 1986

The Use of a New Apparatus for the Prolonged Administration of Artificial Respiration: I. A Fatal Case of Poliomyelitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ventilation and Illumination, Harvard School of Public Health; the Children's Hospital of Boston, and the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard University Medical School.

JAMA. 1986;255(11):1473-1475. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370110095029

A number of patients have come under our observation who have shown intercostal paralysis and considerable weakness of the diaphragm early in the paralytic stage of anterior poliomyelitis; yet the accessory muscles and the diaphragm have been able to support sufficient respiratory movement to keep the patient alive until, in the course of a few days, the paralyzed intercostal muscles began to improve and the patient went on to almost complete recovery. Although this is not the usual termination of these cases, it occurs often enough to stimulate the desire to give all patients with respiratory paralysis this opportunity to recover normal breathing by maintaining artificial respiration over a period of hours, or even days.

LIMITATIONS OF PRESENT METHODS OF PROLONGING LIFE  The means of prolonging life in these patients are limited to the available methods of applying artificial respiration. Of these, the manual methods are not adapted to prolonged

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