A disposable bedpan comprising a folded box of initially flat cardboard material and a separate waste-receiving tray of disposable material. Integral spaced-apart projections in the tray support the box at the desired contour under the weight of a patient. Each side of the box has a waste-receiving opening and the openings are of different sizes to permit reversal of the box with respect to the tray to accommodate either children or adult patients.
Having thus described the invention, what I
claim as new and desire to be secured by Letters Patent is
1. a disposable bedpan comprising:
2. The invention of claim 1, wherein each of said panels is provided with an opening, the opening in one panel being different in size from the opening in the other panel, whereby either of said panels may be selectively utilized as required by the size of the patient.
3. The invention of claim 1, wherein said tray includes a bottom and a peripherally extending sidewall, said projections being integral with the bottom and extending upwardly therefrom, and wherein selected of said projections terminate at different elevations from other of said projections to permit the upper panel to bend in accordance with the respective projection elevations to assume a nonplanar contour when supported on said projections under the weight of said patient.
4. The invention of claim 3, wherein is included web structure integral with the projections and interconnecting the latter for stabilizing the tray.
5. The invention of claim 4, wherein said web structure includes vertically disposed divider walls extending between said projections to define compartments in said tray, and wherein is included notch means in the upper edges of said divided walls to permit fluid communication between said compartments through said notches.
6. The invention of claim 3, wherein said bottom is deformed to provide said projections while maintaining a generally uniform thickness for said bottom, the region of the tray bottom generally aligned with said opening in the upper panel being free of projections, there being a peripherally extending margin of the bottom provided with projections and surrounding said region to define a waste receiving compartment in the tray at the region and for supporting the upper panel around the opening, the thickness of the bottom at said region being greater than at said projections for enhancing the structural rigidity of the tray.
This invention relates to nursing equipment, and more particularly, to a novel sanitary bedpan.
Labor costs and increased emphasis on maintenance of sterile conditions has produced a demand for a bedpan which is disposable and need not be subjected to the cleaning and sterilizing operations required for preparing items of this type for subsequent reuse. These items must be relatively inexpensive if they are to be adopted for widespread use in hospitals or similar intensive care institutions. Further, the material from which these disposable items are made should desirably be adapted for discharge through existing disposal and sewer facilities.
Efforts have heretofore been made to construct bedpans from relatively inexpensive plastic materials. While cost of producing these plastic utensils may be kept sufficiently low as to render their use feasible, disposal of the plastic material has remained an insurmountable problem. Yet plastic materials have been adhered to for use in fabricating disposable utensils also because of their strength. Paper materials for constructing disposable bedpans have not heretofore been thought to be feasible because of the apparent lack of sufficient strength of such materials for supporting the weight of the human body.
Accordingly, it is the primary object of this invention to provide an economically feasible, readily disposable bedpan which has ample strength for supporting a patient.
It is another important object of this invention to provide a bedpan constructed from paper or paperlike material so that the bedpan and contents may be disposed of through existing sewer facilities.
Still a further object of this invention is to provide a bedpan constructed from such paper or pulp material yet which is shaped to present adequate structural strength for the utensil to support a patient's weight.
A yet further object of the invention is to present a novel, two-piece utensil of this type which may be kept in unassembled condition for economy of storage space until the utensil is required, whereupon the components may be quickly and easily assembled for use.
Still another very important object of this invention is the provision of a weight-supporting tray and a reversible cover provided with openings for accommodating either children or adult patients.
Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a tray having novel projections for supporting a cardboard cover, the projections being of selected lengths to permit the cover to assume a comfortable contour under the weight of the patient.
These and other objects of the invention will be further explained or will be apparent from the following specification, claims and from the drawing.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view, on a reduced scale, of the disposable bedpan of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the bedpan with the cover shown in its open position;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the tray showing the bottom thereof;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view, on a reduced scale, of the disposable bedpan, showing the opposite side of the cover from that shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, detailed, cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 1.
A bedpan embodying the principles of this invention is designated in the drawings by the reference numeral 10 and includes a cover 12 having a pair of sides 14 and 16, and a tray broadly designated 18. The cover 12 is preferably formed from initially flat paper or cardboard-like material having a high pulp content and which may be readily disintegrated for disposal through existing sewer facilities. It has been found that ordinary cardboard is suitable for this purpose.
The cover 12 may be folded as illustrated in the drawings to present a pair of side flanges 20 and 22 integral with the side 14 along the side margins of the latter. A front flange 24 is integral along the front edge of side 14. It may be noted particularly in FIGS. 1 and 2 that flanges 20 and 22 extend beyond the front edge of side 14 to present tabs 26 and 28 respectively. The latter may be folded over flange 24 to present a boxlike construction. A back, medial web 30 is integral with the back edges of sides 14 and 16 respectively interconnecting the same. It may be seen from FIG. 4 that side 16 is essentially similar to side 14 with the exception that the latter is provided with an opening 32 which is greater in size than a somewhat similar opening 34 in side 16 of cover 12. Side 16 is provided with flanges and tabs identical to those heretofore described with respect to side 14.
Tray 18 comprises a peripherally extending sidewall 36 and an integral irregular member 38 shaped to present a bottom for tray 18 so that the latter is capable of containing waste material. Actually, member 38 may be formed as illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3, 5 and 6 to present a plurality of upwardly extending spaced-apart frustoconical projections 40 integral with the bottom of the tray. The projections 40 are provided with generally flat uppermost end surfaces disposed in underlying relationship to side 14 in disposition for supporting the latter against collapse under the weight of a patient. It should be noted that certain of the projections (designated 42) terminate at lower elevations than the surrounding projections 40. Accordingly, the projections 42 permit the material of side 14 to deflect under the weight of the patient whereupon the side 14 assumes a comfortable contour for the patient. Nevertheless, the projections 42 prevent collapse of the structure under the patient's weight so that the patient is supported over tray 18.
A plurality of webs 44 interconnect each projection 40 or 42 with its adjacent projection to present brace structure so that tray 18 is sufficiently rigid for supporting the patient's weight. In this respect, the webs 44 are preferably molded integral with member 38 and sidewall 36. By virtue of the irregular configuration presented by member 38 and the interconnecting webs 44, tray 18 may be constructed entirely from readily disposable material such as paper, cardboard or the like. This construction ensures that the tray is sufficiently rigid as required even though material having inherently poor structural integrity are utilized in fabrication of the bedpan so that the same may be conveniently disposed in existing sewer facilities.
It is to be noted that a region immediately below opening 32 is devoid of projections 40 or 42 to provide adequate capacity for the tray 18. The longitudinally extending webs 44 are provided with notch means 46 in the upper marginal edges thereof. This permits flow of fluids into the several compartments defined by the webs 44 and projections 40 and 42 so that the capacity of tray 18 is enhanced. The structural rigidity of the member is preserved by the notched webs and the webs serve to eliminate sloshing during handing of the bedpan.
The cover 12 comprises two sections folded upon one another so that the tray 18 may be sandwiched therebetween. It should be noted, however, that the opening 34 which is particularly disposed and sized for use by children may be place in overlying relationship to tray 18 simply by reversing cover 12. This renders the bedpan well adapted for either adult or children patients.
It is contemplated that the entire cover 12 may be kept in a flat or flat-folded condition in storage prior to use. The trays 18 may be nested to some extent during storage. Thus, when hospital personnel require a bedpan, it is a simple procedure for the covers to be folded as illustrated in the drawings, a tray inserted between the sections of the cover and facing the appropriate opening 32 or 34 as required by the patient. After use, the entire assembly may be discarded with the waste because of its construction entirely from paper or pulplike material. The cover 12 with its integral flaps provides complete enclosure for tray 18 so that the attendants may conveniently handle the assembled bedpan.
A pair of flaps 48 integral with side 14 adjacent opening 32 yieldably bend downwardly toward the open region of the tray 18 to provide a generally smooth contour to be engaged by the body. The flaps also shield against any splashing of waste material from the tray.
It may be noted particularly upon inspection of FIGS. 5 and 6 that the tray member 38 is substantially thickened in the region immediately beneath the cover opening. This accommodates for the opening in the opposite section of the cover immediately beneath the tray and also for the structural weakness attendant upon the absence of projections and baffles in this region.
It is recognized that it may be necessary to subject the used bedpans to a shredding or grinding operation prior to disposal of the units through a sewer system. Nevertheless, in view of the construction of the bedpan from readily separable paper product material, particularly materials having a high pulp content, available garbage disposal equipment may suffice to adequately comminute the material for discharge through sewer systems. Alternatively, available paper shredding machines can be utilized for this purpose.