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During the poliomyelitis epidemic in Copenhagen in 1952 the Danes accomplished one of the major medical advances in the field of respiratory care. Confronted with large numbers of patients dying with respiratory insufficiency secondary to spinobulbar poliomyelitis, they turned to tracheal intubation, tracheal suction, and ventilatory support by squeezing an anesthesia bag attached to the endotracheal tube. The mortality in patients who developed respiratory insufficiency fell from 80% to 25%. This dramatic accomplishment had two far-reaching consequences. First, it destroyed the myth that long-term intermittent positive pressure breathing via an endotracheal tube was impractical because of the unphysiological alterations in
Automatic Ventilation of the Lungs.. Ann Intern Med. ;72:446. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-72-3-446_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1970;72(3):446.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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