A ventilator is a life support machine that is usedin hospitals for patients who cannot breathe on their own. These machines mainly get oxygen in the lungs and carry out carbon dioxide. It is also known as a respirator.
The first respirator was invented in 1928, it was commonly known as Iron Lung. It used negative pressure ventilation technique. At the time, the polio epidemic was on a rise. They were used by polio patients whose muscles had become paralyzed. Patients were laid inside an airtight chamber while a pump was used to remove the air in it.
Biphasic Cuirass Ventilator was the enhanced form of the Iron Lung, it was improved by John Haven Emerson. Biphasic Cuirass Ventilator was also a negative pressure device. This device worked by strapping a shell-like device over a patient’s chest, a pump forced the patient to breathe in and out by creating a vacuum over the patient’s chest.
The use of mechanical ventilators increased in 1949. It became very helpful in intensive care and anesthesia. As a result, more work was done in this field. By the end of 1950 positive pressure ventilators had been developed which pumped air into the lungs through a face mask. Some of these were hand pumps. The positive pressure devices were better than the negative pressure devices.
Roger Manley developed a gas driven ventilator in 1952, which was quite famous until the release of Bird Universal Medical Respirator. Forrest Morton Bird, who was an American inventor and biomedical engineer, developed the bird. He changed the way mechanical ventilation was performed. This piece of unit required no electricity to operate.
The real revolution came in 1971 with the introduction of SERVO 900. This machine had the feature of volume control ventilation. In 1979 Model 500A ventilator was designed, it used hyperbaric chambers to ventilate.
SERVO 300 came in the market in 1991, it used a new gas delivery system and rapid flow triggering response. Laptop ventilators began to be used in 1999, they were much smaller in size than the previous ventilators and they were useful in terms of mobility.
The Servo-i was introduced in 2001. It had many functionalities and modes. A single ventilator model could be used for different type of patients. The development in this field is a continual process. Better equipment will be introduced with the passage of time.