LABORATORY SERIES. No.10. Iron Lung Ward at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center during the 1952 Polio epidemic. The Iron Lung was developed as a temporary respiratory aid for polio patients unable to breathe on their own. Subjects, primarily young children, were confined to the airtight chamber from the neck down. Acting as an artificial lung, the apparatus created a negative pressure environment around the subject’s torso allowing the patient’s lungs to expand and contract. Photo: Wikipedia.