Teaching doll showing an iron lung, England, 1930-1950
This plastic doll in its own model iron lung was made in order to show child polio patients and their family the treatment the child would receive. An iron lung assists a patient whose breathing muscles have been paralysed by disease. Although the heyday of the iron lung was during the 1930s, 40s and 50s, some elderly polio survivors are still using them. The teaching doll was used at the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital in Alton, Hampshire, England. Founded in 1908, the hospital was originally opened to provide specialised treatment for children with orthopaedic conditions, mainly caused by tuberculosis and, later, polio. The hospital combined treatment of the physically disabled with education and schooling.
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Glossary: teaching doll
A sudden widespread occurance of an infection with high numbers of people affected.
An infectious disease affecting the central nervous system. Affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the polio virus enters the blood stream.
The loss of function in one or more muscle groups. It causes loss of mobility and feeling.
Glossary: Polio and TB: diseases causing disability in Britain in the 1900s