Definition of iron lung in US English:

iron lung


  • A rigid case fitted over a patient's body, used for administering prolonged artificial respiration by means of mechanical pumps.

    • ‘People always got well except for when children got polio and died or got put in iron lungs, but that was only in summer.’
    • ‘While describing rocking beds, iron lungs, frog breathing and diaphragm feeding, Barbara recalls other events from her early years of nursing.’
    • ‘It is difficult to read accounts of sadism associated with the terrifying transition away from dependence on the iron lung for breathing.’
    • ‘Those that survive suffer permanent damage and often have to be placed inside an iron lung.’
    • ‘An epidemic in New York in 1916 left 9,000 dead and 27,000 paralysed, while iron lungs for those whose breathing was affected were a familiar sight in hospitals throughout the 50s.’
    • ‘Yet within a month she was lying in an iron lung, paralysed except for a single eye-lid.’
    • ‘The aircraft configuration accommodated specialized medical equipment such as an iron lung, orthopedic bed, artificial kidney machine, or infant incubator.’
    • ‘Its victims, those who didn't die, were forced to live in iron lungs for varying periods of time, and were then left crippled for the remainder of their lives.’
    • ‘The damaged limbs were often kept immobilized because of the confinement of the iron lung.’
    • ‘If we had said during the polio epidemics of the early 1950s, let's help these people, let's invest in building better iron lungs, then we would have had really high class Cadillac iron lungs now but no polio vaccine.’
    • ‘He again became ill, with polio, and had to spend several weeks in an iron lung.’
    • ‘After a visit to America in 1930 he became interested in assisted respiration and he and the hospital engineer built the first iron lung in Britain in their spare time.’
    • ‘How many remember children with limbs locked into irons or bodies totally dependent on an iron lung?’
    • ‘Priceless, irreplaceable objects such as 1920 wedding dresses, an iron lung and 19th century wagon wheels are stored in the basement, above a workshop, and in areas which were earmarked for displays.’
    • ‘When I went to school, I had to go past the villa of a Jewish family who had a son who lived in an iron lung.’
    • ‘Would the course be in good shape and would there be enough carts for some of our more elderly members let alone for Ed and his iron lung?’
    • ‘Bell also invented a device that performed the same function as an iron lung would years later.’
    • ‘She tells the story of an uncle who became a priest, suffered polio, spent time in an iron lung, was paralysed all his adult life.’
    • ‘Before immunizations were routine, pediatric wards were full of children in iron lungs who couldn't breathe on their own thanks to polio.’
    • ‘At the hospital, Mia had been placed in an iron lung.’


iron lung

/ˈˌī(ə)rn ˈləNG/