Fell-O'Dwyer apparatus, American, 1880s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Fell-O'Dwyer apparatus, made of nickel-plated steel with three steel and two vulcanite heads. During the 1880s, American George Fell devised an apparatus for forced artificial respiration through an opening cut in the trachea. Soon after 1887, Joseph O'Dwyer combined this with his own method of intubating the larynx. Air from a foot bellows was pased into the lungs via tubes whose graduated end pieces were introduced in the larynx. He developed this apparatus in order to prevent diptheria patients from suffocating due to the growth of a false membrane over the larynx which occurs in severe cases of the disease.