What device is Gary Sinise's wife in?

For some odd reason I came across this old clip of Gary Sinise in a tv show called Crime Story. Does anyone know what sort of device his wife is supposed to be in and what would cause her to be in it?

EDIT It just occured to me that it must be an iron lung. Guess I should think before I post…

That’s an iron lung.

Yeah, they’ve been replaced by respirators.

I think you mean ventilators, gaffa. And they sort of have, but there are still negative pressure units, basically smaller and of course more portable and better functioning than the iron lung, but working by the same principal. Biphasic Cuirass Ventilator - an iron lung by any other name.

A positive pressure ventilator, like the one you see in the ICU, isn’t good for lifetime use because of the side effects and risks. So those who need respiratory assistance for very long, or lifetime use, probably won’t be on a “regular” ventilator for good.