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Electric weasels: never around when you need one

electric weasel

Dianne Odell, about whom I wrote a small post last year, was the longest-surviving resident of an iron lung. At least, she was until recently, when a tree fell across a power line and they couldn’t get the backup generator going.

Memphis. Uh-huh. That explains the Pimp My Iron Lung look.

Brrrrr. Fifty-eight years in an iron lung. Nightmare. Please to be counting of blessings, kthxbai.


Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: May 31, 2008, 7:55 am

Over thirty years ago, I may have been the last person to learn how to set one up at my hospital.

Counting. Furiously.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: May 31, 2008, 12:49 pm

What is this sudden penchant for blurry weasels, Weasel? It’s making me all dizzy again.

I remember that iron lung post. Al Gore tried to get some from the poor lady. He’s always been a complete dickhead.

What? Don’t they use iron lungs anymore, EW? Are they Composite Lungs now? Microprocessor Lungs?

Ah! Titanium Lungs!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 31, 2008, 2:58 pm

I think they have smaller, more portable units that essentially function on the same principle, but aren’t giant sarcophagi.

Comment from LemurKing
Time: May 31, 2008, 3:14 pm

I’m left wondering why they can’t use a small battery pack that electrically stimulates those muscles to move? Or is the polio paralysis so complete that even that would not work?

It would be enough that I would ask to be given an extreme OD on something via IV.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 31, 2008, 3:39 pm

Ah. I was hoping this image would turn up on an images search. Nightmare fodder:

nightmare fodder

Comment from Allen
Time: May 31, 2008, 3:46 pm

That is a disturbing image. Thank heaven for Jonas Salk.

Comment from KC
Time: June 1, 2008, 1:17 am

That’s just a freaky picture. Not sure if its any freakier than Lemur King’s image posted here: http://lemurking.wordpress.com/2008/05/27/not-posting-much-late-work-night-but/

(sorry I don’t know how to link properly yet here)

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 1, 2008, 7:56 am

KC – it is a freaky photo. Makes me think of a NASA staging area or sumpin. I had a caption in mind but its in poor taste – naturally.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 1, 2008, 7:03 pm

I was watching some more Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine episodes and “made crap and died”. But I got to see some more of Lick Poop – famous sidekick.

It’s a slow Sunday.

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: June 1, 2008, 10:26 pm

This is pretty funny too:

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: June 1, 2008, 10:46 pm


Comment from LemurKing
Time: June 2, 2008, 1:45 am

Wonder why they couldn’t be put upright at least. Perhaps blood pressure, pooling in the legs. Where’s EW1(SG)? I bet he remembers something about it.

Comment from Machinist
Time: June 2, 2008, 2:25 am

These work by creating a lower pressure in the chamber so the high pressure air inflates the lungs. If they were upright the ribcage would have to be lifted to take the weight off the lungs. Normally your muscles lift the ribcage while the diaphragm pulls down to create the low pressure under the ribcage and around the lungs.

Comment from Machinist
Time: June 2, 2008, 2:37 am

I think newer machines use positive pressure or directly suck the air from the chest cavity to allow the lungs to inflate. This is why they are so much smaller and more mobile. It also means the limbs can be exercised and the patient tended to without interfering with their breathing by opening the chamber. I thought these old lungs had manual levers for emergency operation. Could someone with experience tell me if these were eliminated or did they never exist? The lady’s death seemed a needless tragedy.

Comment from sillyblindharper
Time: June 2, 2008, 5:02 am

blessings being counted…

Comment from sillyblindharper
Time: June 2, 2008, 5:09 am

“Freeman Odell worked “tirelessly hand-pumping the machine,” Frank McMeen, president of West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, told the newspaper.”

According to the Sydney Morning Herald she was unable to use the newer machine because of a spinal deformity.

(hope that link doesn’t spill across the page, Weasel)

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 2, 2008, 8:30 am

blessings being counted……

Damned right, sbh! There but for the grace of Whomever …

Comment from Machinist
Time: June 2, 2008, 9:06 am

Thank you, Gentle Lady. I had seen reference to their efforts to start the generator but had not seen a mention of the hand pumping or her weakness from the strokes. Wise and well informed, as always.

Comment from sillyblindharper
Time: June 2, 2008, 5:48 pm

Aaaw, Mac.


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