Business Wire

Iconic Ambu Bag Celebrates a Birthday: 65 Years of Saving Lives

COLUMBIA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ambu Inc., the world leader in single-use endoscopy, is celebrating the 65th birthday of its iconic invention, the Ambu Bag, the ubiquitous, lifesaving tool that has helped more than 45 million people breathe in the last 10 years alone.

The Ambu Bag has come to define the self-inflating manual resuscitation device that is part of the standard kit carried by first responders. Called a “quintessential piece of equipment,” the Ambu Bag is found in ambulances and throughout hospitals, from the ER to the OR and most places in between. This simple, easy-to-use device is synonymous with manual resuscitators, which essentially push air or oxygen into the lungs, a process known as “bagging” the patient. The Ambu Bag is the first resuscitator that worked without a battery or an oxygen supply.

“More than six decades after it first hit the market, the Ambu Bag remains a vital tool to address emerging health emergencies,” said Allan Jensen, Ambu’s vice president, sales anesthesia. “When the COVID-19 global pandemic struck, Ambu Bags became a constant on the front line in intensive care units around the world. And, Ambu Bags have also won newfound purpose helping to revive overdose victims throughout the opioid crisis.”

The Ambu Bag was developed in Europe and invented by Dr. Ing. Holger Hesse, Ambu’s founder, and Henning Ruben, an anesthesiologist. Hesse and Ruben came up with the idea as Denmark was being devastated by the polio epidemic and hospitals relied on medical students, volunteers, and relatives to manually ventilate ill patients 24 hours a day. These manual ventilators required an oxygen source and a truck drivers’ strike hampered oxygen deliveries to Danish hospitals. Hospitals needed a way to ventilate patients without oxygen and the Ambu Bag was born, revolutionizing manual resuscitation.

After its introduction in 1956, the Ambu Bag became etched in the minds of the medical community. Whether in real-life crises, hospital movies or TV shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Station 19,” and “House,” when doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, or first responders need a manual resuscitator, Ambu is the name they call out.

Today, the Ambu Bag remains as critical as when it was first invented. The device’s small size, portability, ease of use, and wide availability ensures that it remains a must-have device for every medical and emergency situation. Learn more at:

About Ambu
Ambu has been bringing the solutions of the future to life since 1937. Today, millions of patients and healthcare professionals worldwide depend on the efficiency, safety and performance of our single-use endoscopy, anaesthesia, and patient monitoring solutions. We continuously look to the future with a commitment to deliver innovative quality products that have a positive impact on patient care and the work of healthcare professionals. Headquartered near Copenhagen in Denmark, Ambu employs approximately 4,500 people in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit or


U.S. media
Ambu Inc., 6230 Old Dobbin Lane, Suite 250, Columbia, Maryland, 21045, United States,

European and APAC media
Mikkel Trier Wagner, Director Corporate Communications, tel. +45 4191 0830, email:
Ambu A/S, Baltorpbakken 13, 2750 Ballerup, Denmark, Tel. +45 7225 2000, CVR no.: 63 64 49 19,