Early ICU Ventilators

An overview of the early generations of ICU ventilators from the 1950s – 1979.

1950s1950s
1950s
1954 Mueller Morch Piston Respirator1954 Mueller Morch Piston Respirator
1954 Mueller Morch Piston Respirator
Dr. Ernst Tier Morch, a Danish physician, developed a piston respirator during WWII in Denmark. After he relocated to the USA following WWII, he continued work on his ventilator designs. V. Mueller Company of Chicago began manufacture of the Morch respirator in 1954. The unit was designed to fit under a hospital bed. The unit was introduced when the polio epidemic in the United States was still at its peak and provided an alternative to iron lungs.
The ventilator provided a constant stroke volume up to 3600 mL directly to an uncuffed tracheostomy tube. It was the first ventilator to incorporate a humidifier
Morch RespiratorMorch Respirator
Morch Respirator
Morch RespiratorMorch Respirator
Morch Respirator
This image of a Mueller-Morch Piston Respirator appeared in the "Equipment News" section of a 1959 issue of the INHALATION THERAPY journal. The respirator was described as "an intermittent positive pressure respirator for tracheotomy cases requiring artificial respiration." The unit provided "a constant stroke volume from 0-3600 mL and pumped room air or oxygen mixture through a humidifier to the tracheostomy tube, with a specially designed check-valve in the system near the tracheostomy tube to ensure exhalation as soon as the desired stroke volume has been delivered to the lungs."

The respirator was recommended for use with uncuffed trach tubes.
Draeger Spiromat 661Draeger Spiromat 661
1955 Draeger Spiromat
The Spiromat ventilator was introduced by Draeger in 1955.
Image provided by Simone Burow at Draeger
Engstrom RespiratorEngstrom Respirator
Engstrom Respirator
In the early 1950s, the Engstrom Post-Op respirator was developed by Carl Gunnar Engstrom. The respirator could provide volume controlled ventilation to adults and pediatric patients.
1960s1960s
1960s
engstromer300-1969engstromer300-1969
Engstrom ER300
This ad for the Engstrom ER 300 appeared in the August 1969 issue of INHALATION THERAPY.
Bennett PR-2Bennett PR-2
Bennett PR-2
The Bennett PR-2 was used often used to ventilate patients in early ICUs.
Image from Illinois Central College Archives 1999
Bird Mark 7Bird Mark 7
Bird Mark 7
The Bird ventilators, such as the Bird Mark 7 pictured here, were used to provide continuous ventilatory support to patients in the ICU.
Image from Dennis Glover
1960s Bird Mark 7 in ICU1960s Bird Mark 7 in ICU
1960s Bird Mark 7 in ICU
This photo from the 1960s was taken of a patient being ventilated with the Bird Mark 7 respirator.
Image from Louis Phillip Bell-Isle
1967 Bird's Vent Patent1967 Bird's Vent Patent
1967 Bird's Vent Patent
On December 11, 1964, Forrest Bird and Harry Pohndorf filed a patent application for "Volume Limiting Ventilation Apparatus". The patent was awarded on October 17, 1967.
1966Airshieldsad1966Airshieldsad
The Air-Shields Respirator is featured in this 1966 ad from the INHALATION THERAPY journal.
Air-Shields Ventilator in ICUAir-Shields Ventilator in ICU
Air-Shields Ventilator in ICU
This 1960s photos shows an Air-Shields vent in use in ICU.
Image from Louis Phillip Belle-Isle
1964 Emerson 3PV1964 Emerson 3PV
1964 Emerson 3PV
The Emerson 3PV respirator was introduced in 1964. J. H. "Jack" Emerson utilized a variety of components from his machine shop along with standard household items to create his ventilator.
Image from Charles Cornfield
Inside the Emerson 3PVInside the Emerson 3PV
Inside the Emerson 3PV
When the left-hand side panel door to the Emerson cabinet opened, the hot plate, pressure cooker, copper mesh, trombone tubing, and wrenches are visible. The sigh mechanism utilized a vacuum cleaner motor. The cabinet itself was the housing for a washing machine.
Image from Joseph Goss
Emerson 3PV WarningEmerson 3PV Warning
Emerson 3PV Warning
Image from Felix Khusid
Emerson Control PanelEmerson Control Panel
Emerson Control Panel
Image from Jim Ciolek
Right View of Emerson 3PVRight View of Emerson 3PV
Right View of Emerson 3PV
The right side panel of the Emerson cabinet has been cut-away to reveal the internal components.
Image from Joseph Goss
Emerson Tidal Volume ControlEmerson Tidal Volume Control
Emerson Tidal Volume Control
Image from Felix Khusid
Emerson SpirometerEmerson Spirometer
Emerson Spirometer
Emerson used a standard gas meter to monitor exhaled volumes on his ventilator. The mirror sat at an angle above the meter so one could view the movement of the indicator on the top of the gas meter which registered in 0.5 L increments between 0 and 3 L.
Image from Joseph Goss
Emerson Respiratory AlarmEmerson Respiratory Alarm
Emerson Respiratory Alarm
Image from Felix Khushid
Emerson 3PVEmerson 3PV
Emerson 3PV
Image from Steve and Mary DeGenaro
Singer Gas MeterSinger Gas Meter
Singer Gas Meter
This Singer modified gas meter was used in conjunction to measure exhaled minute volume.
Image from Jeff Anderson
1967 Bennett MA-11967 Bennett MA-1
1967 Bennett MA-1
Image from Felix Khushid
Bennett MA-1Bennett MA-1
Bennett MA-1
The Bennett MA-1 respirator's control panel.
Bennett MA-1Bennett MA-1
Bennett MA-1
Control panel covered
Image from Joseph Goss
MA-1 Control PanelMA-1 Control Panel
MA-1 Control Panel
Image from Felix Khusid
Bennett MA-1 SpirometerBennett MA-1 Spirometer
Bennett MA-1 Spirometer
Bennett Spirometer AlarmBennett Spirometer Alarm
Bennett Spirometer Alarm<
Image from Jim Ciolek
Bennett MA-1 Circuit ChangeBennett MA-1 Circuit Change
Bennett MA-1 Circuit Change
In this photo, students are demonstrating the teamwork required during a complete ventilator circuit change.
1970s1970s
1970s
Drager SpiromatDrager Spiromat
Drager Spiromat
This ad for the Drager Spiromat ventilator appeared in the February 1970 issue of the INHALATION THERAPY journal.
Monitoring the MA-1Monitoring the MA-1
Monitoring the MA-1
As a student recorded the ventilator parameters on the patient's flowsheet, a clinical instructor monitored the student's performance.
KUMC RT Department
MA-1 LabMA-1 Lab
MA-1 Lab
In this 1972 photo, Gary Peschka (far left) is shown reviewing the Bennett MA-1 controls with his inhalation therapy students at Parkland College, Champaign IL.
Image from Terry DesJardins
1975 Bennett SA-3 Alarm1975 Bennett SA-3 Alarm
1975 Bennett SA-3 Alarm
When the spirometer alarm was turned off, a red warning flag was raised on the Bennet SA-3 Spirometer Alarm. The red "OFF" flag was a visible reminder whenever the alarm was manually turned off.
Image from Joseph Goss
Rear view of MA-1Rear view of MA-1
Rear view of MA-1
Circa 1975 (PEEP valve and updated spirometer alarm are present.)
Image from Joseph Goss
MA-1 Internal ComponentsMA-1 Internal Components
MA-1 Internal Components
With the back panel of the Bennett MA-1 removed, the internal components are visible.
Image from Jim Ciolek
Bennett MA-1Bennett MA-1
Bennett MA-1
Image from Michael Grant
MA-1 with IMV and PEEPMA-1 with IMV and PEEP
MA-1 with IMV and PEEP
The PEEP attachment was offered in the mid 1970s.
Intermittent mandatory ventilation was introduced in the 1970s almost a decade after the MA-1 was released. Therapists adapted the MA-1 to allow IMV through "home-made" modifications as shown here.
MA-1 Side with PEEP ValveMA-1 Side with PEEP Valve
MA-1 Side with PEEP Valve
Circa 1975.
The MA-1, PEEP valve, spirometer, condensation trap and cascade humidifier are shown.
Image from Joseph Goss
Ohio 560 VentilatorOhio 560 Ventilator
Ohio 560 Ventilator
The Ohio 560 was introduced in the 1970s.
Image from James Sullivan
Ohio 560Ohio 560
Ohio 560
The Ohio 560 is shown ventilating a patient in ICU in the early 1970s.
Image from Louis Phillip Bell-Isle
Ohio 560Ohio 560
Ohio 560
The Ohio 560 Volume Controlled Respirator was featured in an ad in the December 1970 issue of the INHALATION THERAPY journal.
Ohio 560 VentilatorOhio 560 Ventilator
Ohio 560 Ventilator
Emerson 3PV + PEEPEmerson 3PV + PEEP
Emerson 3PV + PEEP
The PEEP attachment, which was added to the Emerson in the mid-1970s, is shown on the top right of this image. The amount of PEEP was determined by the height to which the water reservoir on the valve was filled.
Image from Joseph Goss
1975 Bourns BEAR1975 Bourns BEAR
1975 Bourns BEAR
The Bourns BEAR ventilator was introduced in 1975.
Bourns BEAR 1Bourns BEAR 1
Bourns BEAR 1
Image from Jim Ciolek
BEAR 1 Control PanelBEAR 1 Control Panel
BEAR 1 Control Panel
Image from Jim Ciolek
Siemens-Elema Servo 900BSiemens-Elema Servo 900B
Siemens-Elema Servo 900B
Siemens-Elema introduced the Servo 900 ventilator in 1971. The Servo 900B pictured here was introduced circa 1979.
Image from Doug Pursley
Siemens-Elema Servo 900BSiemens-Elema Servo 900B
Siemens-Elema Servo 900B
Siemens-Elema 900 B in ICUSiemens-Elema 900 B in ICU
Siemens-Elema 900 B in ICU
A Siemens Servo 900 B is shown here in the ICU at KUMC.
Image from KUMC Respiratory Care Program
Siemens-Elema Servo 900BSiemens-Elema Servo 900B
Siemens-Elema Servo 900B
A respiratory therapist prepares the Servo 900 B for use.
Image from the archives of the KUMC Respiratory Care Program
Monaghan 225Monaghan 225
Monaghan 225
Image from Doug Pursley
Monaghan 225Monaghan 225
Monaghan 225
The Monaghan 225 ventilator
Image from Sheri Tooley
Foregger Volume VentilatorForegger Volume Ventilator
Foregger Volume Ventilator
This ad for the Foregger Volume Ventilator appeared in the January 1977 issue of RESPIRATORY CARE.
Patent ApprovalPatent Approval
Patent Approval
Although application was filed in 1976, the US Patent Office awarded the patent for this volume ventilator in April 1982.
United State Patent and Trademark Office
Foregger ControlsForegger Controls
Foregger Controls
The control and alarm panels were highlighted in the ad for the Foregger Volume Ventilator that appeared in the January 1977 issue of RESPIRATORY CARE.
Searle VVASearle VVA
Searle VVA
This ad for the Searle VVA (Volume Ventilator Adult) appeared in the January 1977 issue of RESPIRATORY CARE.
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