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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Iron Lung With Mirror


Most Americans have forgotten the polio epidemics of the post World War II years. In the early 1950s as many as 20,000 Americans, mostly children, came down with polio every year. In many places this caused panics. Public swimming pools were closed, events canceled, and children segregated to avoid possible exposure. For some of those who contracted the disease, chest muscle paralysis occurred. Their only chance to survive was in a negative pressure ventilator, or as it was commonly called, an iron lung. The vaccinations invented by Dr. Jonas Salk and later by Dr. Albert Sabin in the late 1950s brought polio to an end in the U.S. Unfortunately there are those who oppose vaccinations creating large numbers of children who are no longer protected, so this epidemic may once again sweep across parts of the world. The exodus of unvaccinated refugees from Syria is but one example. Polio numbers are on the rise once again. For those who survive polio with access to modern medicine, they may received positive pressure ventilation providing patients more mobility. 

14 comments:

  1. Even though I was born post polio vaccination, I remember be being scared to death when I first learned about iron lungs. Yikes!

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  2. A dear person in our family had polio, and now years later, it's back taking a toll on her energy and robbing her of mobility. Since I'm old (into the 7th decade), I remember the drive for donations at movie theaters inbetween the films; it was for the Sister Kenny foundation. With people blaming innoculations for ADHD and other conditions, children are once again being exposed to this disease as well as measles and other diseases that were deemed a part of the past.

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  3. An older cousin of mine got it in the 50s and it has returned to haunt him now.

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  4. I remember having to have polio injections as a kid.

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  5. Hi I am glad we have progressed but your reflection shot is great.

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  6. I remember those times. Very sad timed too. Like your reflection photo.

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  7. Quite a reminder. I remember the polio epidemic here in the 50s.

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  8. Oh, yes...polio....such a horrible disease. My mother, bless her heart, was so scared I'd contact it, she tried everything anyone told her might keep us safe. I had to stop chewing bubble gum...no outside play during the heat of the day..absolutely no public swimming pool play..can't remember all the others. We made it thru without getting polio and had the sugar cubes, which we all were so thankful for the vaccine.
    I've been reading about the fear of polio striking again. O, I surely hope not.
    A teacher in my high school (in the 50's) had a sweet young wife that spent the rest of her life in an iron lung. I've wondered how long she lasted so many times.
    Now, if we can just lick cancer.....

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  9. How easily we forget ... I shuddered as I stood in line for my polo vaccinations but it would have been far worse if I had contacted the dreaded disease.

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  10. It is similar here in the UK especially with Measles. Last year there was a large break out of it in Wales and some children even died.

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  11. Thought provoking post TFG.. it's almost unbelievable in this day and age that this could happen.. parents often do the most misguided things.

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