Happy birthday to the iron lung – forgotten legacy of polio

Credit Wikimedia Commons Wired magazine has a piece this morning on the iron lung, the amazing machine that let polio stricken children breathe (instead of suffocating when their nerve-damage became severe enough to cause respiratory failure). What is hard for us to understand in this modern age is that this hellish contraption was an amazing success – being trapped in a metal cylinder was better than dying for lots of little kids. This is the real picture of polio: life in a tube. That’s why it irritates me when people go disparaging vaccines in general.


Addendum: There’s a nice article over at the Huffington Post that covers some more details on the “debate” over vaccines that’s going on in the news. My favorite part:

There is a lot of fear-mongering about the dangers or effectiveness of vaccines, particularly swine flu vaccine. But if you look at the sources of this information, they come from less than credible sources.

That “less than credible source” is David Icke. Less than credible, indeed.