Nurse contraptions!

Nurse Contraptions: Iron Lung

In the 1950s, nurses tended to patients who were treated in tank-like iron lung contraptions.
Source: National Museum of Health & Medicine

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17 Responses to Nurse contraptions!

  1. Okstudentnurse

    I think it is a blanket/ fluid warmer. When I worked in PACU we had an ancient warmer that look similar to this but slightly newer.

  2. Fl_CEN

    Mystery item one is a Blanketrol patient warmer/cooling unit. They’re still made (although they look a LOT nicer).

    Mystery item two looks like a wall suction unit.

  3. lillypeterson

    This is an iron lung. It used pressure to breathe for young people whose diaphragms were paralyzed by polio. Many of them lived at home in a “lung” for years with round the blockade. Get your kids vaccinated.

  4. lillypeterson

    Oops. Clock

  5. lillypeterson

    This is a gas mask used to protect against mustard gas used in WW I

  6. lillypeterson

    This is a wall suction.

  7. ruralnurse RN

    Iron Lungs were used to treat polio patients.

  8. MrsBland

    I think this might be a cauterizing machine!

  9. Cindy Bohacek

    The “unknown” item is a patient warming and cooling unit. Warm water ran through it to warm patients that had low body temps but also used as cool water to help lower high fevers

  10. Brandison

    The 9 th picture is a cooling blanket and the last one is a gomco

  11. Sean75

    An iron lung, used for polio pts. To assist in their breathing.

  12. onega247

    There are two machines in the Mystery #1. The larger machine is a warming / cooling water blanket cabinet. The same technology is used with updated plastic cabinets rather than steel. The smaller machine is a cautery unit. It can be used in physicians’ offices or in the operating room. It cauterizes small bleeding points without causing thermal damage to surrounding tissues.
    Mystery#2 looks like a bedside wall outlet for a suction device.

  13. Haselephants

    Mystery items. Cooling heating blankets worked with a large coiled sheet and early wall suction I worked with IV bottles for yes and glass chest tube bottles taped to the floor!!! Cool metal bedpans with hopper washers. Lol

  14. cliff reed

    Old type heating or cooling machine. I haven’t seen one in years so I really don’t remember if it includes both.

  15. BogMomma

    I have looked after a patient in an iron lung, also a patient on a “rocking bed”. Both patients were in ICU, in 1979, at Toronto General Hospital, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The patient in the iron lung had had polio years before and the MDs didn’t want to ventilate her. The patient on the rocking bed had Guillian Barre Syndrome and had been weaned from the vent, but was still paralyzed from his shoulders down. So the rocking bed used his own body weight to assist him to breathe. When the head came up, then he would inspire and when he was tilted down, it would cause his expirations. Positive and negative pressures. He had a trach, so trying to suction him was fun. We had to stand on a stool because the bed was high, start swaying back and forth to get into the rhythm of the bed, and then insert the suction catheter! Let me tell you, after 12 hours of this, I was usually feeling a little seasick when I went home!!

    • Nursing75

      Bogmomma, who are you? I must have worked with you at TGH – RCU. The rocking bed was Chuck and the iron lung was Bernie?

    • onlyme

      The iron lung used to be common when polio was a widespread disease.