The first ventilators were introduced in 1832. However, these models differed significantly from anesthetic ventilators in use today. The first ventilators were negative pressure ventilators. The best example of a negative pressure ventilator, the iron lung, was first used on humans in 1928.
The first modern positive pressure ventilator was developed in 1952. Ventilators of today are highly sophisticated and can greatly improve the anesthetist’s ability to ensure effective ventilation during an anesthetic event.