At least six hundred and eighty mechanical respirators are available in the United States. An estimate of their value in poliomyelitis, subject to the limitations of the questionnaire method, was obtained by Wilson1 for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Replies to the questionnaire were received concerning four hundred and twenty of the respirators owned by three hundred and thirty-five hospitals, other institutions or individuals. The purposes of the survey were (1) to determine the total number of patients with poliomyelitis treated by means of respirators in the year 1940, (2) to determine to what use available respirators have been put, (3) to obtain some idea of the use of the respirators for patients other than those with poliomyelitis and (4) to attempt to evaluate the accuracy of diagnosis and of judgment shown in selecting the right type of patient to be placed in a respirator.
Of the three