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Forrest Bird: Inventor of modern medical respirator

30 August 2009 4 Comments

Posted by Randy

Forrest-BirdAt 6’4″, Forrest Bird, fly high with his invention of the modern medical respirator. His brainchild has given the breath of life to millions of people around the world. The respirator we all know today began with a gizmo he cobbled together to help his friend with emphysema breathe.

The year was 1947 and Bird says he didn’t have the “foggiest” idea that he was on the trail of inventing a device that would become one of the most routine parts of emergency medicine. “I mean, this was seeing a problem and coming up with a rudimentary answer, that was all,” he says.

Forrest Bird’s invention, the respirator, has saved millions and, at age 88, he’s still living his life to the fullest, flying his planes and working long days.

Forrest Bird (born June 9, 1921) is an inventor who developed a prototype mechanical ventilator that is widely used for acute and chronic cardiopulmonary care. The ventilator, invented in 1955, was revised to create a ventilator for infants, the “Babybird.” It is responsible for reduced the rate of breathing-related infant mortality from 70 percent to 10 percent. He has received numerous awards for his scientific innovations, including two Lifetime Scientific Achievement awards. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1995. Originally from Massachusetts, Bird now resides in Sagle. In 2007, he opened the Bird Aviation and Invention Museum to showcase his inventions.


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  • aed defibrillator said:

    This great man deserves our salute. He should be well applauded by informing the world of his superb contribution to saving the people. My thumbs up for this genius.

  • moon815 said:


  • moon815 said:

    What a genius, he has saved millions of lives! Daniel Manson has a great article on his website about the uses of the respirator in modern medicine, it's interesting to see what a huge impact such a simple device can have on the world.

  • Medicaid Doctors said:

    This is so interested! Where can I find more like this?

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