Title:
Cushioning and supporting device
United States Patent 2245909


Abstract:
This invention relates to a cushioning and supporting device, and particularly to that type which can be filled with a fluid. An object of this invention is to provide a flexible supporting cushion having varying degrees of yieldability. Another object lies in the provision of a flexible...



Inventors:
Helen, Enfiajian
Application Number:
US16986837A
Publication Date:
06/17/1941
Filing Date:
10/19/1937
Assignee:
Helen, Enfiajian
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/422, 5/671, 5/687, 128/DIG.20, 297/DIG.3, 601/148, 602/13
International Classes:
A61F5/058; A61G7/057
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Description:

This invention relates to a cushioning and supporting device, and particularly to that type which can be filled with a fluid.

An object of this invention is to provide a flexible supporting cushion having varying degrees of yieldability.

Another object lies in the provision of a flexible cushion member having varying degrees of yieldability, and in which the extent of yieldability may be altered or controlled at the will of the person using the same, or of an attendant.

A further object of the invention resides in having a flexible supporting cushion for use by persons in which the extent of yieldability of the cushion may differ over its supporting area, if desired, and in which the difference may be altered at will.

A still further object of my invention lies in the provision of an inflatable mattress in which the fluid pressure in certain parts thereof may be made equal to or different from the fluid pressure in other parts.

Still another object of the invention lies in the provision of an inflatable cast in which the fluid pressure may be altered or made to differ in different regions thereof.

A further object of the invention is to provide a novel supporting device for a human being, and in which the body of a person may be supported thereon either through the entire area of the device, or at spaced intervals therealong, and which after a period of time of support, the supporting areas may be relieved and the body supported by the device at other areas.

The invention is particularly useful and adaptable in supporting bed-ridden patients, whereby the body may be supported on certain areas for a predetermined period of time, and then supported on other areas of the body to thereby reduce to a minimum the likelihood of such bedridden persons having bed sores; andisalsouseful in supporting the body or parts, or limbs thereof in casts so as to compensate for swelling or atrophy of the body or limbs thereof about which a cast is placed.

The invention resides in the parts and combination of parts more particularly hereinafter described and pointed out in the claims.

Other objects, advantages, and features of invention may appear from the accompanying drawing, the subjoined detail description, and the appended claims.

The accompanying drawing illustrates the invention in a form I at present deem preferable.

Figure 1 is a plan view of one form of my invention with parts broken away and in section to show interior construction.

Fig. 2 is a side elevational view of the structure shown in Fig. 1, with parts thereof broken away and shown in section to illustrate the interior of the structure.

Fig. 3 is a plan view partly in section, of a modified form of the invention.

Fig. 4 is a side elevational view of the form of my invention shown in Fig. 3; parts are broken away and shown in section to illustrate the interior construction.

Fig. 5 is another modified form of my invention shown fragmentally, partly in plan and in section.

Fig. 6 is a fragmental side elevational view of the form of my invention shown in Fig. 5.

Fig. 7 is a longitudinal sectional view of my invention as associated with a cast applied to a limb of a person.

Fig. 8 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 8-8 of Fig. 7.

In all of the embodiments disclosed on the drawing, provision is made for the introduction of a suitable fluid into the supporting cushion, the fluid pressure being controlled so that pressure differentials may be provided in various portions of the supporting cushion device, or if desired, the pressures may be made equal throughout the entire supporting area of the device.

In Figures 1 and 2, a mattress A is disclosed which is particularly useful for supporting sick person or invalids. The device includes an enclosure 10 made of a flexible but preferably nonstretchable material. A sinuous partition II extends between the bottom 12 and top 13 of the mattress, dividing the same into two pressure regions 14, 15, each having transversely extending supporting chambers 16 in which a fluid, such as air or hot or cold water may be introduced as desired depending upon the connections and the treatment desired. Such introduction is accomplished through the individual pipes I7, each of which enters into an individual pressure region by being fitted into the bosses 18 formed at one end 19 of the mattress. The flow of fluid through each pipe 17 is controlled by its respective valve 20, the pressure in each chamber being ascertainable from the pressure gauge 21 screwed into the pipe adjacent the mattress.

The fluid pressure may be controlled and exhausted by means of the outlet valve 22 in the exhaust pipe 23 having communication with the inlet pipe 17 in the manner shown in Fig. 1.

Because of the sinuous partition 1, the transverse supporting chambers 16 supplied by each inlet pipe 17 are in staggered relationship with respect to the chambers 16 supplied by the othe" inlet pipe. If the pressure supplied by one inlet pipe Is different from that supplied through the other, the result is that varying degrees of support will be given to a person lying on the mattress since adjacent chambers will have fluid therein under different pressures. Thus, pressure may be applied to regions of the patient's body for adequately supporting the same, while in those regions where relief is desirable or necessary the pressure may be decreased. With the use of a liquid such as hot or cold water the extent of support may be varied by the control of the volume of liquid in each chamber.

Another form of mattress is shown In Figures 3 and 4. The arrangement shown in these Figures 3 and 4 provides substantially the same results as the mattress of Fig. 1, but it possesses greater flexibility in its use, and comprises the enclosing member 24 divided into a series of individual fluid chambers 25 by the partitions 26 extending between the top 27, bottom 28, and side walls 29. An inlet header 30 conveys fluid from a suitable source of supply to each chamber 25 through the individual pipes 31 connected thereto at one end, and at the other end to the header. The flow of fluid into each chamber 25 is controllable by a valve 32 positioned in each pipe 31. The exhaust from the chambers 25 may flow through a second set of Individual pipes 33 communicating with the exhaust header 34 under control of a valve 35 therein by means of which the flow of fluid into the exhaust header may be controlled.

With the arrangement just described, the pressure In each chamber 25, or the volume of fluid therein may be varied at will through manipulation of the inlet and outlet valves. Any degree of flexibility within limits may be given to the various portions of the mattress in order to supply the proper support to various regions of the body of a person lying thereon. By this arrangement hot or cold water may be caused to flow through any desired number of chambers to maintain that region of mattress support at a temperature suitable for the person's body.

The mattress construction shown in Figs. 5 and 6 is analogous to Figs. 3 and 4 in its general aspects. The enclosing body 36 for the mattress Is not divided into individual chambers but includes a plurality of adjacently positioned flexible chambers 31 which support the patient's body. At one end 88 of each chamber a pipe 39 makes connection with an inlet header 40 through which fluid is supplied from a suitable source.

The flow of fluid into each chamber is controlled by a valve 41; and the exhaust from each chamber may proceed through the pipes 42 and under control of valve 43 into an exhaust header 44.

Additionally, a master control inlet valve 45 is provided in the header 40 for determining the maximum flow that can pass into each chamber. Similarly, a master control valve 46 is provided in the exhaust header 44 for determining the maximum flow from each chamber.

The operability of the last described mattress is similar to Figs. 3 and 4. The main feature of difference lies in separating each chamber from the material of the enclosure 36; while the placSing of the inlet and outlet at opposite ends of each chamber ensures a more uniform flow and circulation of fluid therethrough. The general principles of the invention are susceptible of application to devices other than mattresses. This is well illustrated by Figs. 7 and 8, wherein a cast 47 for use on limbs is TO illustrated. It consists of an annulus 48 of flexible and preferably non-stretchable material having a plurality of circumferentially arranged chambers 49 therein formed by the generally radial partitions 50 extending between the inner and outer walls 51, 52 of the annulus, and about which annulus the plaster of Paris or other castive material (not shown) is positioned. A pipe 53 extends into each chamber for supplying fluid under pressure thereto. In the instant example, the fluid is also exhausted through the same pipe, but it will be appreciated that various other arrangements of the nature disclosed in the other embodiments on the drawing may be used in connection with the cushioned cast device.

The interior wall 61 of the annulus is preferably shaped to approximately fit the limb 54 which it encircles. The essential support to the limb will be given by the fluid in each chamber, the amount of fluid or pressure in each chamber being adjustable and variable in accordance with the extent of support of this pressure desired to be imparted to the particular region of the limb.

In the event that the pressure becomes too great it can readily be relieved by exhausting fluid from one or more of the chambers 49. Such a situation would arise if the limb swells. The pressure could then be decreased to avoid suffering on the part of the patient while maintaining the cast firmly about the injured member.

It is to be understood that the foregoing description and various embodiments disclosed are for the purpose of illustrating the invention rather than imposing any limitations thereon.

The scope of the invention can best be understood from a consideration of the claims appended hereto.

I claim: 1. A cushioning and supporting device comprising means defining an enclosure upon which a person can lie, a sinuous partition in said enclosure extending continuously back and forth across said enclosure from side to side and from end to end to provide a plurality of alternate chambers disposed transversely of said enclosure, means adapted to supply fluid to alternate chambers, and means adapted to supply fluid to the remaining chambers.

2. A cushioning and supporting device comprising means defining an enclosure upon which a person can lie, a sinuous partition in said enclosure extending continuously back and forth across said enclosure from side to side and from end to end to provide a plurality of alternate chambers disposed transversely of said enclosure, valve control means for supplying fluid to the chambers on each side of the partition, and valve control means for exhausting fluid from the chambers on each side of the partition.

S3. A cushioning and supporting device comprising means defining an enclosure upon which a person may lie, a sinuous partition in said enclosure extending continuously back and forth across said enclosure from side to side and from end to end to provide a plurality of alternate chambers disposed transversely of said enclosure, said chambers on each side of said partition being adapted to be attached to a fluid supply means for independent inflation or deflation of alternate chambers.

4. A cushioning and supporting device comprising means defining an enclosure; a sinuous partition in said enclosure extending continuously back and forth across said enclosure from side to side and from end to end to provide a plurality of alternate chambers disposed transversely of said enclosure; said enclosure being adapted to be attached to a fluid supply means for the alternate chambers.

HELEN ENFIAJIAN.