A Breath of Health


17 Dec Discovery of pulmonary plethysmography

A pulmonary plethysmograph is an instrument that can measure total lung capacity, in other words the volume of air entering a person’s lungs after taking a deep breath, and the volume of air left in the lungs after exhaling normally. It resembles a completely sealed, small telephone booth where the patient is seated and breathes through a mouthpiece.
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04 Dec The “iron lung” and the modern “ventilation”

The iron lung is a machine that predated modern respirators, and was frequently used in hospitals to allow patients with respiratory failure to breathe, particularly patients whose respiratory muscles had been paralyzed due to polio. The machine works by creating a depression inside the chamber by means of a bellows, the rib cage expands and produces a depression inside the airways of the patient which then allows air from the atmosphere to flow into the airways and lungs due to the difference in pressure.
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04 Dec Invention of the diving regulator

In 1942-1943, French naval officer Jacques-Yves Cousteau and engineer Emile Gagnan, an expert in liquefied gas control valves, worked together to solve the problem of air being continuously exhausted from diver Le Pieur’s equipment by delivering it at a constant ambient pressure at different depths through a regulator derived from a gas stove valve.
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04 Dec The miasma theory

Hippocrates (460-377 BC) was the first who tried to find a scientific explanation for disease with the theory of the four humors (yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood) in the body, which are in balance in healthy beings but out of balance in a sick person if there is an excess of one of the humors. 
Galen (129-216 AD) expanded on the humoral theory by examining the bodies of people who had suffered a violent death to determine whether they conformed to the theory. 

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04 Dec The discovery of surfactant

Up until the end of the 1960s, 10,000 newborns died inexplicably in the first two-three days after birth in the United States alone, including Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, the son of JFK. Around that time, John A. Clements from the University of California and Mary Ellen Avery from Johns Hopkins University discovered that surfactant, a substance consisting of lipids and, to a lesser extent, proteins, helped prevent the pulmonary alveoli from collapsing due to its ability to reduce the surface tension of water.
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04 Dec Cellular Respiration

Respiration is the mechanism by which oxygen is supplied to the cells of our body and carbon dioxide is expelled.  
A gas exchange takes place in the alveoli when oxygen passes into the blood and carbon dioxide passes out of the blood. This exchange occurs because the gases in the air and blood have different concentrations and are separated by very thin capillary walls that surround the alveoli.
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