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A Patient’s Misfortune

May 7, 2009 on 2:11 pm | In submarinesusie |

How many of you have had something go wrong with your health, end up in a hospital, and wish you had never gotten to the point where you needed hospital care? How many of you were in such a situation, you knew how the problem could be solved, but you didn’t have the medical equipment on hand to prevent the inevitable hospital visit?

I was in such a situation sixteen years ago. This is how it happened. To give my readers the full picture, let me give a little background on the condition of my breathing capabilities. I used to have an old fashioned Iron Lung as a child, which I slept in every night for four years straight. It strengthened my lungs to the point where I did not any assistance for breathing at night for about 3 to 4 years. Then, when I turned thirteen my scoliosis became more severe and after being evaluated by a pulmonologist at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, he said I would be dead within a week if I did not go back on a respirator. When I returned home, my parents put me on the Iron Iron Lung and my oxygen levels immediately rose to their normal status.

A couple years later we had to relocate to Pittsburgh but could not bring the Iron Lung with us as it was too big and monstrous to move anywhere. So I tried a cuirass negative pressure respirator with jump suit and a cage that goes over the respiratory system. This was run by a vacuum cleaner type ventilator. As we would soon find out, this cuirass respirator could not provide enough air to my lungs to sustain me; thus, I got very weak. Then I caught a cold and since the cuirass didn’t give me what I needed, my CO2 rose so high that I just passed out. Thus, I ended up in the intensive care of Mercy Hospital where I remained for 4 months.

The one good thing that came out of all this was the fact that we found out about the Porta- Lung. Up until this time we didn’t know such a negative pressure respirator existed! However, we did know what kind of respiration I needed - the kind the Iron Lung provided. We knew the Iron Lung had become extinct so the question then arose: What respirator was comparable or similar in breathing rhthym to the Iron Lung? The Porta-Lung.

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