The Mark-7

Dr. Bird’s Mark-7 was the first commercially available and cost effective HFP Ventilator. It, and Dr. Bird’s pressure ventilation technology revolutionized the world of respiratory care and has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Soldiers first

During the Korean War (1950-1953 ) a soldier injured in combat was evacuated by helicopter to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, (MASH) if they survived long enough. Helicopters as a means of medical transport was in its nascence at this time and were little more than a faster ride to treatment. Even this advance resulted in a decrease in wound mortality especially if they were transported within 3 to 8 hours. During the Vietnam War (1959 – 1975) medical evac was more rapid and coordinated than ever, but inflight treatment was limited. Dr. Bird, recognized a need and set about filling this void in battlefield care. His solution was to outfit a helicopter with life saving / life support equipment to be used in-flight to treat casualties. His aeromedical transport concept resulted in an increased battlefield survival rate up to 75%. Wounded soldiers had access to ventilation, wound dressings, IV painkillers, antibiotics and more. This concept eventually evolved into civilian life flight services and more fully equipped ambulances. Today the US Military has developed the aeromedical protocol to the highest level of transport ICU’s and surgical units. “If you make it to a filed hospital in theater with a heartbeat you have a 98% chance of living,” says Justin Brockhoff an officer with the Tanker Airlift Control Center at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.