Hospital walking exercise panel
United States Patent 2427761

This invention relates to an appliance in the form of a footrest for use by convalescent patients to enable them to strengthen the leg muscles while lying in bed and also to render the patient more comfortable by relieving the feet from contact with the bed covers. To that end, one of the...

Bull, Hull Vera
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Bull, Hull Vera
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US Patent References:
2340666Invalid's footrest and exerciser1944-02-01
1973945Combination exercising and massaging apparatus1934-09-18
1694095Foot rest1928-12-04

Foreign References:

This invention relates to an appliance in the form of a footrest for use by convalescent patients to enable them to strengthen the leg muscles while lying in bed and also to render the patient more comfortable by relieving the feet from contact with the bed covers.

To that end, one of the objects of the invention is to provide a novel device in the form of a panel which may be fitted to the foot of the patient's bed, whereby the patient, by following a routine of moderate exercise of the legs and feet upon the surface of the panel from the time of early convalescence may materially advance the date of being able to leave the bed and stand erect safely on his feet and walk much in advance of the period ordinarily required.

Another object is to provide means for supporting the bed covers at the patient's feet 'which is not only important in ordinary cases but particularly so in orthopedic cases and surgery.

Heretofore, it has been the general practice at hospitals to place a pillow flatwise against the foot of the bed, thereby forming a cushion for the feet as well as to somewhat support the bed covers above the patient's feet. This is not a satisfactory practice for the reason that a pillow has no supporting element or itself, breaks down and is easily displaced, and is particularly uncomfortable from heat of summer days and nights.

A further object is to provide an appliance which is superior from a sanitary standpoint because the bed clothes can be placed over the face of the panel and at each change of covering for the particular patient, the soiled linen can be removed. And, furthermore, the use of the present device releases from service many pillows and the expense of maintaining them in condition with frequent expense of laundering slips and replacements.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a device which is simple and practical in its organization and application, thus materially enhancing the invention from a practical and useful standpoint.

With the above and other objects in view, the invention consists in the novel features of construction, combination and arrangement of parts as will be hereinafter more fully described, illustrated in the accompanying drawings and defined in the appended claim.

In the drawings wherein like characters of reference denote corresponding parts in the different views: Figure 1 is a sectional view of a bed illustrating the apparatus which is also shown in section to visualize its application in use.

Figure 2 is a rear elevation of the device.

Figure 3 is a side elevation taken at the line 3-3 of Figure 2.

Figure 4 is a top plan view taken at the line 4-4 of Figure 3.

Figure 5 is a front elevation of a second form of the invention involving the use of springpressed foot exercising pedals.

Figure 6 is an end view of the form of the invention shown in Fig. 4.

Figure 7 is a detail view of another form and mounting of the resisting springs.

Referring to the drawings, it will be observed from Figure 1 that the device is intended to be positioned between the foot of the bed and the mattress and essentially includes in its organization a panel I of suitable width and height to provide a platform against which the patient's feet may rest or to receive foot pressure incident to the exercise of imitating walking.

The panel I is preferably provided at its lower end 2 with an upwardly extending cover supporting frame or rod 3 which is sufficiently spaced from the panel to permit of placing the bed covering C over the face of the panel and at the same time support said covering above the patient's feet as clearly shown in the drawings. This frame may be of any suitable material, preferably a rod or the like suitably covered with rubber, felt or other material to avoid metallic contact with the flesh.

The rear of the panel is provided with supporting and anchoring means which may be of any suitable type but by way of illustration may include the hanger hooks 4 attached substantially to the medial portion of the panel and adapted to engage with the top rail R of the foot of the bed. Thees hooks serve as means for anchoring and holding the panel to the top rail of the bed and also serve more or less as a bearing to permit of adjusting the panel to different angular positions with reference to a vertical plane. That is to say, the hook 4 cooperates with additional holding and anchoring means designated generally as D. The latter preferably consists of an angle member 5 hinged to the rear of the panel as indicated at 6. The wings of the angle mem60 ber 5 are preferably of different lengths and are provided with the hooks 7 and 8 which are also preferably covered with rubber or the like and are adapted to engage the vertical pillars or bars R' of the foot of the bed. If it is desired to support the panel in the position shown in Figure 3 the hook 7 carried by the short wing of the angle member is engaged with one of the pillars of the foot of the bed, and on the other hand, if it is desired to tilt the panel at a greater angle the longest wing of the angle member 5 is brought into play and the hook 8 engaged with one of the pillars R'. This arrangement has the advantage of permitting relative adjustment of the panel with reference to the feet of tli patient so as to permit of not only resting the feet in different positions but at the same time to permit of exercising the foot muscles from a different position.

This arrangement is also advantageous in giving an unyielding restful bearing for the patient's feet in normal relationship to the position of the body. That is to say, when the patient is lying prone the position of the device shown in Figure 3 will be useful but in the event that the head of the patient is elevated or the entire mattress and spring is elevated at an angle the device may be shifted accordingly. In the latter event the longest wing of the angle member 5 is brought into play so that the hook 8 will engage the vertical elements at the foot of the bed.

The simple and basic form of the invention shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3 is entirely effective for the purposes described but its utility may be supplemented by the addition of a pair of foot exercising pedals 10, 10, one for each foot, as shown in Figs. 5, 6 and 7 of the drawings. These pedals are preferably arranged within the lower part of the space between the elements I and 3 of the device and each of the same has a suitable hinge or pivot connection iI at its lower edge with the forward side of the panel I and is normally yieldably pressed forward at an angle by means of a suitable resisting spring 12, for example a leaf spring interposed between the same and the said panel element I, as shown in Figs. 5 and 6, or a coiled type spring 12a arranged as- shown in Fig.

7. Each of said exercising panels is also preferably provided at its lower edge with a stop element 13 engageable with a fixed part of the structure to limit outward movement or inclination of the panel. As shown in the drawings the foot exercising pedals 10, 10 are of duplicate construction and are of elongated form to take the full length of a foot bearing against the same. In operation the patient places one foot on one of the pedals and the other foot on the other pedal.

By working the pedals forward and backward in conjunction with the action of the controlling springs all muscles of the foot, ankle, knees and hips can be exercised in the same manner as they are in the actual act of walking.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that if treatment is indicated wherein the patient's body needs to repose in a position occasioned by cranking up the bed spring, frame and mattress into different angular positions, the patient obtains by the use of this device a definite substantial support for the feet and legs, thereby making it impossible to slide down upon the mattress into uncomfortable positions requiring repeated attention on the part of the nurses to re-position the patient and mattress. Also, by the patient imitating walking motions against the panel weakness of the leg muscles is prevented and blood circulation is maintained.

Without further description it is thought that the features and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and it will of course be understood that changes in the form, proportion and minor details of construction may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention and scope of the appended claim.

What is claimed is: An attachment for hospital beds and the like including a panel, a pair of movable foot exercise pedals on the bedside face of the panel, a member carried by the lower end of the panel and extending upwardly in spaced relation to the bedside face thereof, said member including vertical and horizontal portions, the latter supporting the bed covers clear of the panel and also permitting some of the bed covers to be draped across the movable foot exercising pedals on the bedside face of the panel, and means carried by the outer face of the panel for supporting the same at different angular positions relative to the foot of the bed.


Administratrix of the Estate of William C. Bull, Deceased.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent: 45 UNITED STATES PATENTS Number 2,340,666 1,973,945 1,365,750 1,694,095 931,908 Number 65 72,843 Name Date Johanson-- -- Feb. 1, 1944 Chavin et al. ------- Sept. 18, 1934 Townsend ---------- Jan. 18, 1921 DuMoulin ----------Dec. 4, 1928 Weld ------------ Aug. 24, 1909 FOREIGN PATENTS Country Date Germany ----------- Jan. 9, 1894