Our Iconic Ambu bag
Worth a celebration

Making a difference,
saving lives

More than 65 years ago, the Ambu Bag was invented by Dr. Holger Hesse, Ambu’s founder together with anesthesiologist Dr. Henning Ruben. The product was developed in Denmark at a time when the country was devastated by the polio epidemic and hospitals relied on medical students, volunteers, and relatives to manually ventilate ill patients 24 hours a day.

The manual ventilators required an oxygen source, a truck drivers’ strike hampered oxygen deliveries to Danish hospitals and hospitals needed a way to ventilate patients without oxygen. This led to the birth of the Ambu Bag. The Ambu bag revolutionized manual resuscitation. To this day, the Ambu bag continues to make a difference and save millions of lives around the world.

The idea was so brilliant and so simple that you could squeeze the bag, ventilate the patient with air, and then it would entrain its own air and spring back into shape again.

— Dr. Christine Ball, Anesthesiologist

Take a look at the video below and see for yourself the difference an Ambu bag can make in an emergency situation.

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.

Branding - like a Kleenex

A brand standard of care

When a manual resuscitator is needed to save a live, real doctors, like their fictional counterparts on TV and in movies, often call for an "Ambu bag" as if on cue.

The Ambu Bag is one of an elite set of brand names that is used in day-to-day conversation as a generic term for its product category. think Kleenex and tissues.


The name that sticks

"It's a valuable piece of resuscitation equipment, considered to be standard of care", says Felix Khusid, RRT, a respiratory therapist and president of the New York Downstate Association for Respiratory Therapists (NYDART), who counts an authentic Ambu Bag from the 1960s among the pieces in his museum collection.

"Everybody refers to every manual resuscitator as an Ambu Bag."

Ambu bag founder, Henning Ruben

Although similar versions of resuscitators have been imitated by other manufactuers, Ambu is still the name that rolls off the tongues of doctors and emergency medical personnel when they need a manual resuscitator.

In Denmark - the country of Ambu’s foundation and the company’s current headquarters - and in the Nordics, the Ambu bag is also referred to as a Ruben’s balloon, in reference to one of the Ambu bag founders, Henning Ruben. So even today, many years later and many miles away from the time and place the product was first created, the Ambu bag continues to nod back to its founders.

Today, we offer a variety of resuscitators

The Ambu bag has evolved over time. Today our top seller is the Ambu® SPUR® II (Single Patient Use Resuscitator), a disposable, single patient use product to reducing the risk of cross contamination.


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