Operating table
United States Patent 2172941

The invention relates to surgical equipment and a has particular relation to a surgeon's operating I table. While surgeon's operating tables have been used for many years, certain disadvantages have char- t acterized them and are particularly apparent a during use of the table in the performance...

Manning, William H.
Barker, Howard B.
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Manning, William H.
Barker, Howard B.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/618, 74/471R, 108/20, 123/81C, 218/110, 254/103, 310/66, 310/112
International Classes:
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The invention relates to surgical equipment and a has particular relation to a surgeon's operating I table.

While surgeon's operating tables have been used for many years, certain disadvantages have char- t acterized them and are particularly apparent a during use of the table in the performance of t surgical operations. Certain types of sectional r tables have been provided wherein the. sections may be disposed in varying, relative angularity and wherein the table top may be tilted transversely and longitudinally, and means have been provided for making these several adjustments.

So far as known, the constructions previously provided have been complicated and difficult to manipulate properly, particularly because the means for controlling the several adjustments are not easily accessible during a surgical operation.

As a matter of practice, sheets of covering material usually are employed to drape or cover the patient during an operation and these depend downwardly over the sides and ends of the top in such manner that the adjusting means is within such depending sides and ends of the covering material. This has made it very difficult to make adjustments quickly and accurately as it has practically been necessary during a surgical operation that the person making the adjustments must as a matter of necessity get under and around the table and within the depending sides and ends of the cover before access to the adjusting means is obtained. These conditions make it almost impossible for the person making the adjustments to manipulate the adjusting means and at the same time observe the manner in which the top is being adjusted. It can be readily appreciated how difficult it is for a person to stoop and get under the sides or ends of the covering and make the adjustments and at the same time watch the movement of the table to the end that the proper adjustments are secured.

One object of the present invention is to provide an improvement in operating tables wherein the table may be adjusted in different directions in a simple, positive and accurate manner.

Another object of the invention is to provide an operating table of adjustable character, wherein adjustment of the table in different directions can be made quickly and accurately with a minimum of effort and time requirements so as to enable the surgeon and his assistant or assistants to continue the operation with a minimum of interference.

66 Another object of the invention is to provide n operating table of adjustable character wherei the control means for making the various adustments on the table are readily accessible and o located that the anesthetist or person making he adjustments may have an unobscured vision nd proper perspective of the movement of the able resulting from manipulation of the control neans.

Another object of the invention is to provide 4n operating table of adjustable character wheren the control means for making the adjustments are located independently of the table top and n an accessible position irrespective of the movement of the table top so as to thereby enable the person making the adjustments to know at all times exactly where the control means is located.

Another object of the invention is to provide an operating table of adjustable character wherein the various adjustments are effected by electrical means, thereby eliminating tedious manual effort and furthermore increasing the speed with which the adjustments can be made.

Another object of the invention is to provide an operating table of the last mentioned character wherein all electric parts apt to cause electrical sparks, are sealed so as to avoid any danger of explosion when inflammable or explosive fluids are used in the operating room and particularly in conjunction with an operation.

Another object of the invention is to provide ah operating table of adjustable character which is so constructed that various adjustments may be made independently or simultaneously, with freedom of interference of one adjustment with respect to the other. Another object of the invention is to provide an adjustable operating table of such character that the surgeon or his assistant may make the necessary adjustments easily, quickly and accurately without becoming un-sterile. Other objects of the invention will become apparent from the following specification, the drawings relating thereto, and from the claims hereinafter set forth.

For a better understanding of the invention reference may be had to the accompanying drawings wherein; Fig. 1 is a side elevational view, partly in cross section, of an operating table constructed to one form of the invention, and illustrating several adjustments of which the table is capable, Fig. 2 is a cross sectional view on a larger scale, taken substantially along the line 2-2 of Fig 1, Fg. 3 is a plan view of the construction shown in Fig. 1 with parts of the table broken away for the purpose of illustrating certain details more clearly, . Pig. 4 is a cross sectional view taken substantially along the line 4-4 of Fig. 1, Pig. 5 is a cross sectional view on a larger scale taken substantially along the line 5-5 of Fig. 1, Pig. 6 is a cross sectional view on a larger scale taken substantially along the line 6-6 of Fig. 1, Fg. 7 is a cross sectional view on a larger scale taken substantially along the line 7-7 of Fig. 4, Pig. 8 is a cross sectional view on a larger scale taken substantially along the line 8-8 of Fig. 1, Pig. 9 is a view similar to Fig. 1, illustrating a construction wherein the adjustments are made by manually operated mechanisms instead of electrically operated mechanisms, Fig. 10 is a detail view illustrating a preferred form of switch control.

Referring to Figs. 1 and 2, the table top illustrated comprises three sections 10, 11 and 12 pivotally connected as generally indicated at 13 and 14. In a construction of this character it is intended that the patient lie on the table with the head on section 10 and that the section 12 constitute a foot rest: Section 10 also. includes a laterally extending kidney rest I5 located adjacent the pivot 13.- Various adjustments may be made and before proceeding to a description of the supporting and operating mechanisms, the various adjustments will be briefly indicated.

In the first place the entire table may be moved upwardly and downwardly so aq to change its elevation with respect to the floor. Sections 10 ando 12 may be adjusted respectively in either direction about the pivots 13 and 14. Also, the entire table may be tilted upwardly or downwardly in the plane of its length and as shown by Fig. 2, the entire table may be tilted transversely to its length, in either direction. The kidney rest I5 also may be raised or lowered with respect to section 10; Any adjustment may be made independently of or simultaneously with any other adjustment and regardless of the degree of any other adjustment.

46 As shown by Figs. 1 and 2 the table top Is supported by a hollow base 20, Including a base plate 21 having a vertical wall 22 constituting the ends and sides of the base. Substantially at its center, the base plate 2.1 has longitudinally spaced, vert!cally extending and' transversely disposed walls 23 and 24 that Integrally join the longitudinally extending side walls'22. The walls 23 and 24 at the upper ends have short flanges 25 directed towards each other and the laterally intermediate 66 portions of these flanges and the central and upper portions of the walls 23 and 24 are integral with a ring 26. The base plate 21 between the walls 23 and 24 is open but is adapted to be closed normally by a cover plate 27. It may be mentioned in this connection that the side walls 22 along the longitudinal and lower edges of the base have inwardly offset portions 29 extending substantially throughout the length of the base so as to provide recesses for enabling the surgeon to stand closer to the center of the operating table owing to the fact that the recesses permit projection of the feet thereinto. The base plate 21 and side wall 22 are adapted to be covered by an upper cover p.ate 30 closely and sealingly fitting the upper edges of the side and end walls 22 and the upper edges of the intermediate vertical walls 23 and 24, and if desired a sealing gasket may be used between such contacting edges. This cover may be fastened TI in place such as by bolts 31 as shown in Pig. 4.

In vertical alignment with the ring 26, the cover 30 has an upwardly projecting tubular portion 32, reinforced by ribs 33 and the lower edge of this portion similarly has a close and sealing fit with the upper edge of the ring. Within the tubular portion 32, a bearing sleeve 34 is provided, which has a flange 35 at its upper end that overlaps and is secured to the upper end of the tubular portion by means of bolts 36. A second sleeve 37 is disposed within the sleeve 34 in vertically reciprocatory relation thereto and is provided with a flange 38 at its upper end adapted to engage and rest upon the upper end of sleeve 34 when the sleeve 37 is In its lowermost position. The sleeve 37 receives a tubular, table lifting member 39 which is reciprocatory in the sleeve 37. As best shown by Fig. 1, the sleeve 37 has a plurality of vertically directed grooves 40 in its inner surface, although only one is shown in this figure, and these grooves are adapted to receive lugs 41 secured by bolts 42 to the tubular member 39. One or more grooves 44 are provided in the outer surface of the sleeve 37 and a pin or the like 45 projecting inwardly from the bearing sleeve 34, projects into 2g this groove. Inasmuch as the bearing sleeve 34 is stationary and held against turning, it is apparent that the pin 45 will prevent turning of the sleeve 37 and that the latter through the relation of the lugs 41 to the grooves 40 will 80 prevent turning of the tubular member 39. It should be apparent that the lifting member 39 may be raised separately until the lugs 41 reach the upper ends of the grooves 40 and that then the sleeve 37 is picked up by the lugs and is moved with the member 39 until the lower end of the groove 44 reaches the pin 45 on the bearing sleeve 34. This arrangement provides a telescopic assembly which enables lifting the table through a substantial distance without requiring a long, integral lifting member. It might be noted that the grooves 40 and 44 are so located that with the lifting member 39 In its uppermost position, the sleeves 34 and 37 and member 39 have substantial overlapping portions 4 so as to insure a stable assembly.

For vertically reciprocating the tubular member 39, and as shown by Fig. 2, a threaded block 48 is tightly pressed into the lower end of the lifting member 39, and this block at its lower end has a shoulder 49 seated in a larger end portion 50 of the opening in the tubular member.

A screw 52 threaded through the block 48 extends upwardly to a point adjacent the upper end of the lifting member when the parts are related as shown by Fig. 2, and the lower end of the screw is non-threaded and projects into a gear casing 53 fastened to the lower edge of the ring 26 by means of bolts 54. The non-threaded lower end of the screw is journaled in a ball thrust bearing 55 and above this bearing another portion of the screw is journaled in a similar bearing 56 held in place by means of an apertured cover plate 57 secured to the upper side of the casing 53 by means of bolts 58. This cover additionally serves as a means to prevent inflammable fluids in the room from collecting in the base 20.

Immediately above the lower thrust bearing 55, the screw has an integral collar or shoulder portion 60 resting on the inner race of the bearing, from which it follows that the bearing 55 supports the screw and table when the latter is raised. Between the bearings 55 and 56 a worm gear 61 is keyed on the screw 52 and this gear meshes with a worm 62 that has a smooth portion 63 as shown by Fig. 1, which projects externally of the gear casing and through wall 23 and is journaled in an offset portion 64 of the gear casing, as shown by Fig. 2. As shown by Fig. 1, the outer end of the worm has a pinion 65 thereon which meshes with a pinion 66 on the shaft of a motor 67. The motor is of a reversible type and it will, therefore, be apprediated that the table may be raised and lowered depending upon which direction the motor is operated.

Referring now to Figs. 1 and 4 it will be noted that five vertically disposed motors are provided in the hollow'base 20, as indicated at 71, 72, 73, 74 and 75. These motors may be of a conventional type wherein the motor casing has end covers, and in employing themi, the end cover at the projecting end of the motor shaft, is reo0 moved and the motor is then suspended from the base cover 30 by means of the ordinary bolts indicated at 76, used for connecting the motor end covers and casing together. It will be noted that at the point of each motor suspension, the cover 30 is shaped and designed to serve as a substitute for the end cover of the motor, that has been removed.. Each motor shaft indicated at 77 may be journaled in a bearing 78, and a seal 19 of conventional character may be employed around the shaft above the bearing. Above the cover 30, the motor shaft 17 is connected to a flexible drive shaft mechanism 80, which is shown in cross section by Fig. 6. As shown by the latter figure, the mechanism includes a housing 81 and 3U the shaft 79 projects upwardly into the housing and is provided with 'a worm 83 keyed on its Upper end that is retained on the shaft by means of a nut 84. The worm meshes with a worm gear 85 keyed to a shaft 86 which is journaled in bearings 87 and 88 located in openings 89 and 90 in opposite sides of the housing. Spacing sleeves 81 and 92 are provided at opposite sides of the gear 85 for the purpose of properly locating the gear between the bearings. An upper cover plates 93 shown by Fig. 1 may close the upper side of the housing, and as shown by Fig 2, screws or bolts 94 'may be used to secure the cover to the housing.

The bearings 87 and 88 are held in position against the sleeves 91 and 92 by cover plates 95 and 96 and it will be noted that the first mentioned cover plate has an opening through which the shaft 86 projects. Exteriorly to the cover plate 95, the shaft 86 is connected to a flexible drive shaft or cable which, as readily will be understood by those skilled in the art, may be similar to a speedometer drive shaft and may comprise a plurality of coiled springs wound around each other respectively, with one layer wound in one direction and the layer next to it wound in the other direction. This flexible shaft has a pin 98 secured to its end, which projects into an opening in the end of shaft 86 and is keyed thereto, as indicated at 100. -For holding the flexible shaft connected to the shaft 86 a sleeve 101. is provided on the end of the former and which engages a collar 102 on the pin 98, and the sleeve in turn is held on a tubular portion 103 integral with the cover plate 95 by means of a threaded bushing 104. It will be appreciated that the flexible shaft is capable of transmitting rotary movement while being flexed practically to any degree and in any direction.

Owing to the fact that the turning torque of the motor shaft 77 largely is transmitted to worm gear 85 in a vertical direction, little tendency of the housing 81 to turn is present, but if found desirable, the housing may be bolted to the base cover 30. It may be mentioned that the housing 81 preferably has a pilot portion 105 projecting into the cover-30 around the motor shaft 17, so as to positively locate and further stabilize the position of the drive mechanism.

SThe same flexible drive connection is provided for each of the motors 71, 72, 13, 74 and 75 and for the purpose of clarity in the description hereafter, the flexible shafts are indicated .at 106, 107, 108, 109 and 110.. These. shafts extend to mechanisms for making the various adjustments previously pointed out and these mechanisms and IS the manner in which the table is mounted for adjustment will now be described.

Referring to Figs. 1 and 2, the upper end of the lifting member 39 projects into a tubular portion 115 of a casting 116 and is secured thereto g by locking, pins 117 projecting into tangentially arranged grooves in the adjacent surfaces of the lifting member and tubular portions. In this connection it may be pointed out that the upper end of the opening in the lifting member 39 2g preferably is closed by a plate 118. A worm 120 journaled in a laterally off-set portion of the casting meshes with a worm gear 121 secured to one end of a shaft 122 which at its left end is journaled in ball bearings 123 and 124 and at its right end in a plain bearing 125. A cover plate 126 closes the opening in the casting at the left end of the shaft 122 and also serves as a support for the ball bearing 123. The worm 120 may be driven by any one of the vertically disposed mo- g tors in the base 20 and, as indicated by Fig. 1, the flexible drive I10 extending from the motor 75 extends Into the casting 116 and is connected to the worm 120.

The shaft 122 adjacent the bearing 125 is provided with a worm 127 that meshes with a worm gear sector 128 secured at its ends by bolts 129 to a sleeve 130 that is keyed, as indicated at 131, to a shaft 132 extending longitudinally of the table and which, as shown by Fig. 1, is rotatably mounted in tubular end portions 133 and 134 of the casting 116. The sleeve 130 is located between the portions 133 and 134 of the casting 116 and the segment 128 is located at the center of the sleeve. Above the segment 128 and ex- s0 tending to the ends thereof, a rib 136 is provided on the sleeve 130 and this rib terminates at its upper side in shoulder portions 137 and 138 adapted to engage respectively, shoulders 139 and 140 on the casting at opposite sides thereof so U as to limit turning movement of shaft 132 by the worm wheel 127. A U-shape cover 142 fits.over the sleeve 130 and has peripheral wall portions 143 that cover the space between the portions 133 and 134 of the casting 116 and at each side of the rib 136, so as to close the open spaces without interfering with movement of the rib. It should now be appreciated that when the motor 75 is operated in one direction or the other, the shaft 132 is turned in a corresponding direction. as Referring now to Fig. 1, the shaft 132 extends beyond the ends of the tubular portions 133 and 134 of the casting 116 and at its right end it projects into and is secured to a casting 145, while its left end projects into and is secured to a TO casting 146. As shown by Figs. 2 and. 3, the casting 146 has oppositely disposed and aligned tubular arms 147 and 148 which are separated centrally, and each of these arms has a laterally directed pin 150 projecting therethrough. At Ig their outer ends, the pins 150 pivotally support arms 151 and 152 mounted thereon respectively and the latter, as best shown by-Fig. 1, are rigidly connected to table top section I I. As shown by Fig. 2, the pivot 13 is obtained by having an ear 153 on the arm 152 project into a slot 154 in section 10; and employing a pin 155 for pivotally connecting the sections.: This pin, as shown is secured in position by a set screw 156. A simi10 lar construction is provided at the opposite edge of the table in connection with arm 151 and the pivot 14 between sections II and 12 may be similarly arranged although in this case the ears on section II merely project from the end of the is section. : - " As previously stated, section 10 is pivotal relative to section II and about the pivot 13 and for adjustably moving the section 10 relative to section II, as shown by Fig. 3, .a flexible drive 2 mechanism 160 is mounted between the tubular portions 147 and 148 of the casting 146 and this drive mechanism has trunnions 161 and 162 at opposite sides that receive the adjacent ends of the pins 150. Hence the drive mechanism is g5 pivotal about the same axis as the arms 151 and 152. The mechanism is driven by the flexible shaft 106 and when the latter is driven a screw 163 is moved upwardly or downwardly depending upon the direction of rotation of the shaft and SO the upper end of this screw is pivotally connected to the section 10 and accordingly when the screw is reciprocated the section 10 is pivoted relative to the section II about the pivot 13. The flexible drive mechanism 160 between the shaft 106 3 and the screw 163 is substantially the same as shown in Fig. 5 which will be described hereafter.

As also shown by Fig. 1, the casting 145 at the right end of the shaft 132 similarly has a bifurcated end which pivotally supports a similar flexible drive mechanism 166 by means of opposed pins 167. This flexible drive mechanism may be driven by flexible shaft 107 and includes a screw 170 that is pivotally connected at its upper end to the section II. This mechanism is adapted to 4B turn section II about the pins 150 and since section 10 is connected to section I I by means of the pivot 13 and is also connected operatively to the pins 150 by the screw 163 and flexible drive mechanism 160, both sections 10 and II will move B as a unit when the mechanism 166 functions.

The right end of section 1 as best shown by Fig. 5, has depending arms 171 and 172 provided with pins 173 and 174 which pivotally support a drive mechanism 175, which as indicated previously, is the same as the flexible drive mechanisms 160 and 166. This drive mechanism includes a casting 176 having openings I17 and 178 in opposed sides thereof and in these openings bearings 179 and 180 are provided, which rotatably support a shaft 181. The shaft is provided with a worm 182 within the housing, which is located on the shaft by means of short sleeves 183 and 184 engaging the bearings on the ends of the shaft, and at is left end the shaft projects through a cover plate 186 and is secured to the drive shaft 108.

The worm 182 meshes with a worm gear 187 in the housing 176 and this wheel is threaded on a screw 188 which is pivotally connected at its upper end to the foot rest section 12 of the table top, and which below the housing, as shown by Fig. 1, projects into a tubular receptacle 189 that depends from the housing and has a collar 190 thereon for limiting upward movement of the I$ screw. Thus, when the shaft 108 is turned, section 12 is adjusted relative to section II. It will, however, be appreciated that when section II is turned about the pins 150 by operation of flexible shaft 10I, section I1- will carry with it the flexible drive mechanism 175 and the foot rest 12 without changing the angular relation of sections II and 12 unless flexible drive 108 is separately rotated.

The above described drive mechanism is identical to those connected to the screws-163 and 170 and similarly, the latter have tubular receptacles for receiving their lower endA. 'Thus the mechanisms are covered as much as is possible, thereby avoiding exposed parts that are difficult to maintain in a! sanitary condition. As shown by Fig. 2 the right end of the'kidney rest 15 is keyed to a vertically reciprocating and non-rotatable screw 195 having a rubber or similar cushioning ring 196 thereon under the rest.

The screw projects through the section 10 and into a casting 197 and within the casting the screw is threaded through a worm gear 198 supported in:bearings 199 and below the casting it projects downwardly into a depending tubular receptacle 200. Within the receptacle the screw has a collar similar to collar 190 thereon for limiting upward movement of the screw. The worm gear 198 meshes with a worm 201 journaled in the housing 197, and, as best shown in Fig. 3, this worm is secured to the flexible drive shaft 109. The left end of the kidney rest 15, shown in Fig. 2, is similarly mounted and is operated by a worm gear like gear 198 and a screw similar to the screw 199, but in this case, the threaded connection between the screw and worm -.5 gear is opposite that shown in connection with the right end of the kidney rest. Thus, when the worm 201 rotates, both ends of the kidney rest move vertically in the same direction.

It should be apparent that any one of the adjustments controlled by operation of any one of the motors in the base 20 can be made independently of any other adjustment or at the same time without interference with any other adjustment. In fact, it is possible to make several or all adjustments simultaneously. A number of adjustments may be made, and, as an example, the section 10 may be tilted upwardly at the same time that the section II with the section 10 is tilted upwardly about the pins 150 so as to have both sections inclined upwardly with respect to the horizontal, and the foot rest may be inclined downwardly from the right end of section II. Any one of the sections could be tilted in the other directions at any time and, if section II is tilted, all three sections will move together without'changing their relative positions unless their respective motors are operated for this purpose. Furthermore, the entire table may be tilted laterally, as shown by Fig. 2, and this may be 00 accomplished at any time or simultaneously with any other adjustment.

It may be mentioned that the several flexible drive shafts extending from the motors are spiralled around the tubular portion 32 of base cover 30 and also around the casting 116, and from the latter extend respectively to the adjusting mechanisms. This avoids loosely hanging shafts that would be undesirable in appearance and also in the way. Upon raising or lowering of the table, the spiralled shafts would expand and contract similarly to elongation and contraction of a coiled spring.

For controlling the operation of the various motors, the left end wall 22 on the base 26 may have an insulating plate 205 therein through which conductors 206 may extend for connection with the six motors in the base respectively. Beyond the end of thebase 20, a casting 207 may be provided for'receiving the conductors and such Sconductors then extend through a tubular standard 208 rotatably mounted in the upper end of the casting. The standard 208, as shown by Fig. 1, serves as a support for a seat 209 and also has an extension 210 provided with a switch box 211. Switches 212 may be provided for operating the motors respectively and such switches may be of the double throw type to enable a reversal of operation of any one of the motors. Prefer18 ably the switches will be operable in oil in the switch box 211 to avoid any sparking. The electrical circuit'is not shown, but it will be understood that an electrical power line will extend into the base and will be connected to the motors and 0a conductors 206 in any conventional manner that will enable individual control of each of the motors by operation of the switches 212. The swivel mounting of the standard 208 enables the operator of the switches to remain seated on the seat 209 and the seat is so disposed that the anesthetist Smay control operation of the motors without moving from the seat. Furthermore, the seat is so disposed that detailed observation of the different adjustments may be observed and, in this 80 manner, the anesthetist may quickly make all adjustments without difficulty.

As shown by Fig. 10, each switch 212 is pivotally mounted and is normally maintained in a neutral position by a spring 235 so that the operation of the motor continues only as long as hand pressure is maintained on the switch to hold it in one'circuit closing position or in the reversing circuit position. The handle for the switch comprises a member 236 having a handle portion 237 threaded thereinto wherein both parts are constructed of insulating material such as glass. This construction is advantageous in that the anesthetist or other normally un-sterile person, who make adjustments, may, if required, use the members 236 for opersrating the switches, leaving the handles 237 for use by the sterile surgeon or his assistant. The handles being removable can easily be kept in a sterile condition so that the operating surgeon or his assistant 60 may mak te the adjustments without contamination.

The above switch construction will permit the surgeon or his assistant to make all adjustments themselves and this is really desirable if it does 65 not interfere with the operation. Since the handles are sterile and can be easily maintained sterile owing to removability for sterilization, and since the control box is readily accessible and the adjustments can be quickly and accurately made, the operating surgeon or his assistant will have no difficulty in making the necessary adjustments without any undesired interference.

As a matter of fact, it is very desirable that the surgeon or his assistant do this as they know exactly the adjustment and degree of adjustment wanted and when they can quickly and accuratel3 do it themselves, it really becomes a part of thi operating procedure and is not a detraction o01 interruption such as when others make the adjustments.

The swivel mounting for the switch box enable, moving it to a position nearer to the surgeon o: his assistant so that they need not move out o position to make the adjustments. If desired the switch box could be mounted on a stationar: part near the normal operating position of the surgeon. Again two sets of controls could be used, one near the surgeon's normal position and the other on the swiveled post 210 and, by using removable switch handles for the surgeon's 6 control box, they could always be maintained sterile while leaving a switch box for the anesthetist or nurses that need not be sterile.

SOne veryimporta aant advantage of the invention therefore is to provide a table that the sterile surgeon and his assistant 'may operate quickly, easily andccurately at any time desired, with practically no interruption, while still avoiding contamination.

A capacity or condensor unit 213 is shown in the base 20 of the motor, and it will be understood that this is in the motor circuits. A unit of this character is conventionally used in motor circuits, where the motor must start under a heavy or full load. While the person making adjustments normally will not make any adjustment complete or to the full extent of the adjustment, it is desirable to avoid a condition where any motor would remain energized if its control switch is not operated upon reaching a limit of the adjustment. This is accomplished by providing a suitable cartridge fuse in the switch box 211 for each motor circuit, so that if any adjustment reaches its limit, the increased load on the motor will blow the fuse. Cartridge fuses are desirable in that no spark or heated conductor becomes exposed when the fuse is blown. A sealed compartment for the fuses of course could be used.

Movement of the table from one position to an- 3 other may be readily accomplished by providing a roller at each corner of the base 20, and, as shown by Fig. 8, this roller is mounted in a box 215 secured by screws 216 to the ends of the bast at the corners thereof, and within the base a roller 217 is provided whichis journaled in the lower and bifurcated end of a supporting member 218. A bolt 219 having a cam portion 220 may be employed for adjusting the height of the member 218. For the purpose of providing supports along the edges of the table top for various purposes, such as hanging elements along the edge of the table, the several sections may have projections 225 at opposite ends thereof, which are apertured for receiving rods 226 that may be held in place by removable and tapered pins 221 projecting through openings in the projections 225 and into tangential slots in the ends of the rods. This arrangement facilitates removal of the rods and maintenance thereof in a sanitary condition.

The construction shown by Fig. 9 is substantially the same as the previous construction described, with the exception that it is manually operated instead of electrically operated. In this case, the worm 62 in the base of the construction, as shown by Fig. 2, is driven by a flexible shaft 230. The several shafts extend to a support 231 that may be mounted on a standard r 232 projecting from the base 20 adjacent the seat 209. On the support 231, operating cranks 233 may be provided which may be connected to the flexible shafts respectively in a suitable manner, such as by means of a worm and worm s gear so that when any crank is operated, its rer spective flexible shaft is driven. It will be noted f that the support 231 is adjacent the seat 209 i, and this enables the anesthetist to manually opy erate the controls without movement from the seat 209. While the support 231 is shown as being parallel to the side of the operating table, it may be preferable to have it facing the seat 209 so that the cranks face the seat.

The invention provides a simple and efficient operating table that may be easily, quickly and accurately adjusted and wherein all adjustments can be made separately or simultaneously. Moreover, the invention provides a construction wherein the adjustments can easily be effected by a single person without requiring, as frequently as has been the case, two or more persons such as the anesthetist and a nurse, to jointly make the adjustments so as to avoid delay. Again the invention enables a single un-sterile nurse or anesthetist to make the adjustments without interfering with the sterile surgeon or his assistant and causing them to move away frqm the table to avoid contamination. Also, the invention enables the surgeon or his assistant to make the adjustments themselves quickly and accurately, while still maintaining their sterile condition, and this is desirable as only the surgeon or his assistant know the adjustment wanted unless they inform others, and it is advantageous that they be able to make the adjustments as they can proceed instantly with the adjustment as soon as it is required without stopping to explain to others what adjustment is wanted. If the adjustments can be made quickly, easily and accurately, the surgeon or his assistant would much prefer to do it, as they know what they want and would prefer not to be bothered with explaining it or watching and directing others doing it. Additionally the invention provides a construction which is electrically operated, thereby avoiding tedious manual efforts as well as increasing the rapidity of adjustment. At the same time in this electrical arrangement, danger of sparking is positively avoided.

In general, therefore, the invention avoids the time requiring interruptions, distractions to the surgeon, danger of contamination and slowness, difficulty and inaccuracy of control that have characterized previous constructions. In contrast the invention provides a construction which allows the surgeon to proceed with the operation with a minimum of interference and distraction. both of which factors are highly conductive to the exercise of that skill of which the surgeon is capable.

Although more than one form of the invention has been illustrated and described in detail, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that 6 various modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the appended claims.

What we claim is: 1. A surgeon's operating table comprising a support, a table top, means mounting the top on the support for movement in different directions of adjustment, a hollow base for the table, motors located in the base, and means including flexible cables driven by the motors respectively for moving the table through its different direc- 1 tions of adjustment, the cables being disposed in coil formation so as to permit their springlike extension and contraction during the various adjustments of the table while still avoiding loose extensions of cables in the driving cohnections., 0 2. A surgeon's operating table comprising a table top, a base, a standard for supporting the table top on the base, means mounting the top on the standard for movement in different directions of adjustment, a plurality of motors, and means including flexible drive shaft cables driven respectively by the motors for moving the table through its different directions of adjustment, the cables generally being spiraled around the standard so as to avoid loose lengths of cable under the table top and also to provide an arrangement permitting extension and contraction of the cable during the adjustments.

3. A surgeon's operating .table comprising a hollow base, vertically disposed electric motors in the base and having the upper ends of their shafts projecting above the base, means sealing the motors in the base so as to prevent ignition of combustible fluids around the table by electric sparks in the motors, a table top, means mounting the table top on the base for adjustment in different directions, top adjusting means, flexible drive shafts connecting the motors and top adjusting means for effecting such different adjustments, and means for governing operation of the motors respectively.