Title:
Combination adjustable break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device
United States Patent 3921231


Abstract:
A break-away scoop stretcher composed of three detachable frame sections adapted to be selectively interengaged to extricate and transport a critically injured person in various positions, including prone, seated and fetal, depending upon the position in which the injured person is found, the stretcher including pivot lock means for interconnecting the several sections in the desired position of use as well as permitting each section to be separated into opposing halves which may be fitted together about the injured person to avoid twisting, turning or other possible injurious movement to the person during extrication from the site of the injury and subsequent transport to a hospital.



Inventors:
Bourgraf, Elroy E. (Cincinnati, OH)
Self, Kenneth R. (Washington, OH)
Dunn, Robert E. (Bloomingburg, OH)
Application Number:
05/466275
Publication Date:
11/25/1975
Filing Date:
05/02/1974
Assignee:
FERNO-WASHINGTON, INC.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
403/95
International Classes:
A61G1/00; A61G1/003; A61G1/017; (IPC1-7): A61G1/00; A61G7/10
Field of Search:
403/95,102 5
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3811139STRETCHER1974-05-21Shaw
3797051FOLDABLE COT1974-03-19Evans
3653079ADJUSTABLE BREAK-AWAY SPLINT-STRETCHER1972-04-04Bourgraf
3574871SAFETY LITTER1971-04-13Greene
3417412Folding stretcher1968-12-24Andrews
3158875Invalid stretcher1964-12-01Fletcher
3125766N/A1964-03-24Halperin
3122758Combined stretcher and stair chair1964-03-03Ferneau



Primary Examiner:
Nunberg, Casmir A.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Melville, Strasser, Foster & Hoffman
Claims:
We claim

1. A break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device comprising an upper frame section, a lower frame section, and a seat frame section, said upper frame section being adapted to be selectively connected to either said lower frame section or to said seat frame section, each of said frame sections comprising a complimentary pair of frame parts detachably interconnected at one end by a pivot lock means, frame section locking means for selectively interconnecting either said lower frame section or said seat frame section to said upper frame section, said frame section locking means comprising first locking parts mounted on the remaining ends of the frame parts forming said upper frame section, coacting second locking parts mounted on the remaining ends of the frame parts forming said lower frame section, and additional coacting locking parts mounted on the remaining ends of the frame parts forming said seat frame section, said upper and lower frame sections when interconnected providing a stretcher for receiving a patient in prone position, said coacting second locking parts when interengaged with said first locking parts acting to rigidly interconnect said upper and lower frame sections in a common plane, and said upper and seat frame sections when interconnected by interengaging said additional coacting locking parts with said first locking parts forming an extrication device and stretcher for receiving a patient in an inclined position, said additional locking parts including adjustable locking means mounting said seat frame section for pivotal movement relative to said upper frame section.

2. The break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device claimed in claim 1 including detachable strap means extending between and interconnecting the complimentary frame parts of said upper frame section and said seat frame section when said two frame sections are interconnected.

3. The break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device claimed in claim 2 wherein said strap means includes strap sections for surrounding the body of a patient received on said stretcher.

4. The break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device claimed in claim 1, including a detachable headrest comprising a supporting plate, and bracket means on the rear surface of said plate for detachably connecting it to said upper frame section.

5. The break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device claimed in claim 4 including a cushion for said headrest, and adjustable strap means operatively connected to said cushion for engaging the head of a patient, said strap means including attachment means for securing said strap means to said headrest.

6. The break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device claimed in claim 1 wherein the complimentary pair of frame parts of each of said frame sections comprise tubular frame members having inturned ends mounting said pivot lock means, and supporting plates mounted on said tubular frame members.

7. The break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device claimed in claim 6 wherein said lower frame section includes an extensible foot portion, said extensible foot portion comprising tubular frame members axially, movable relative to the remainder of the lower frame section, and locking means for adjustably securing said extensible foot portion to the remainder of said lower frame section.

8. In a break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device, a first frame section comprising a complimentary pair of frame parts, pivot lock means detachably interconnecting said pair of frame parts together at one end for pivotal movement relative to each other, a second frame section having a complimentary pair of frame parts, and pivot locking means detachably interconnecting said last named pair of frame parts at one end for pivotal movement relative to each other, detachable frame section locking means for detachably interconnecting said first and second frame sections, said frame section locking means comprising first locking parts mounted on the remaining end of said upper frame section, and second coacting locking parts mounted on the remaining end of said second frame section, and means restraining said complimentary pairs of frame parts from pivoting movement when said first and second frame sections are interconnected.

9. The break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device claimed in claim 8 wherein said first frame section comprises a head and back supporting section, wherein said second frame section comprises a lower torso and leg support section, and wherein the means restrining said complimentary pair of frame parts from pivoting movement comprises stop means associated with said frame section locking means acting to rigidly interconnect said frame sections.

10. The break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device claimed in claim 8 wherein said first frame section comprises a head and back supporting section, wherein said second frame section comprises a seat section, and wherein the means restraining said complimentary pairs of frame parts from pivotal movement comprises strap means extending between and connected to the complimentary pair of frame parts of said second section adjustent said frame section locking means.

11. The break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device claimed in claim 8 including adjustable locking means on one of said frame sections adjacent said frame section locking means acting to mount said frame sections for pivoting movement relative to each other when said frame sections are interconnected.

12. The break-away scoop stretcher and extrication device claimed in claiam 11 wherein the parts of said frame section locking means are pivotally movable relative to each other in the plane of one of said frame sections, and restraining means operative to prevent pivotal movement of said locking parts in at least one direction.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to break-away splint or scoop stretchers used to transport a critically injured person from the scene of an accident to a hospital or other treatment facility. It is standard practice in such cases to move the patient as little as possible to avoid possible additional injury or further complication of existing injuries. To this end, break-away scoop or splint stretchers have been provided which permit the stretcher's frame to be separated into opposing halves which may be inserted beneath the patient from either side and thereafter fitted together and the patient effectively immobilized by being strapped to the stretcher. An improved version of such adjustable break-away splint stretcher is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,653,079. While break-away stretchers of this type have proven to be highly useful in immobilizing and transporting seriously injured patients, they are designed to carry the patient in a prone position. There are, however numerous accidents, particularly vehicular, in which the victim is found in a seated position or pinned in the wreckage in a fetal position. Heretofore, there has been little or no equipment available to extract the victim from the wreakage in the body position in which the victim was found, and consequently in extricating the victim from the wreckage it was inevitable that lifting, twisting and turning of the patient's body occurred, with attendant risk of further injury during extrication movement to a position in which the stretcher could be fitted in place.

The present invention provides a break-away scoop stretcher which may be fitted to the injured person even though the person is found in a seated or fetal position, the parts of the stretcher being separable and capable of being fitted about the patient in the condition encountered, the stretcher thus serving the dual function of an extrication device as well as a means for immobilizing and transporting the patient.

RESUME OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the invention, the stretcher is composed of three frame sections, namely, a head and back section adapted to be connected to either a lower torso and leg section or to a seat section, depending upon the nature of the injuries encountered. Each of the frame sections is composed of complimentary frame parts preferably formed from aluminum tubing which mount supporting panels or scoops for the various parts of the body being supported, such supports preferably being formed from aluminum ribs covered with aluminum sheeting.

Each set of complimentary frame parts is connected together at one end by means of a pivot lock which rigidly connects the frame parts together while permitting them to be pivoted in the plane of the frame section. The pivot locks are of the type disclosed in commonly owned U.S. Pat. No. 3,801,208, issued Apr. 2, 1974, entitled "Pivot Locking Means." In addition to the pivot locks, locking means are provided to selectively interconnect the head and back section with either the seat section or the lower torso and leg section, depending upon whether the stretcher is assembled for use in prone or inclined position. The latter locking means are similar to the hinge locks but, in the case of the seat section, additionally include adjustable locking means for including the frame sections relative to each other at any desired angle.

In addition to the basic frame elements, the invention also comtemplates a special head supporting attachment, including cushion and strap means, for immobilizing the head of the injured person.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the stretcher with the head and back section and the lower torso and leg section assembled for use in the prone position.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the stretcher taken from the right side of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a plan view similar to FIG. 1 but with the complimentary parts of the frame section pivoted outwardly relative to each other.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the stretcher with the head and back section and the seat section in assembled relation.

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view taken from the right side of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view illustrating the manner in which the seat section may be inclined relative to the head and back section to any desired position of use.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating the manner in which the complimentary parts of the frame sections may be assembled relative to a vehicle seat.

FIG. 8 is a rear perspective view illustrating the head and back section and the seat assembled in inclined position, with the retaining strap engaged to prevent lateral movement of the frame sections relative to each other.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged plan view of a head supporting attachment.

FIG. 10 is a side elevational view taken from the left side of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating the manner in which the head attachment is connected to the frame.

FIG. 12 is a plan view of a head supporting cushion.

FIG. 13 is an elevational view of the cushion.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view illustrating the head restraining straps which also serve to connect the cushion to the head attachment when in use .

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings. the stretcher, when assembled for use in the prone position, comprises a head and back section indicated generally at 1, which for convenience will be referred to as the upper section, and a lower torso and leg section indicated generally at 2, which for convenience will be referred to as the lower section. The two sections are detachably but rigidly interconnected by the locking means 3. The upper section comprises complimentary frame parts 4 and 5 preferably formed from tubular aluminum members 6 and 7 having inturned ends 8 and 9 interconnected by the pivot lock 10. Similarly, the lower section 2 comprises complimentary frame parts 11 and 12 formed of tubular members 13 and 14, together with extensible tubular members 15 and 16 having inturned ends 17 and 18 interconnected by pivot lock 19.

The upper section 1 is provided with supporting panels 20 and 21; and the lower section 2 is provided with sets of supporting panels 22, 23 and 24, 25. The various supporting panels may be formed from cast aluminum, or they may be molded from plastic, although it is preferred that they be fabricated from a series of aluminum ribs, such as the sets of ribs 26 and 27, also formed from aluminum, which are fixedly secured to the tubular frame members, the ribs being covered by a skin of aluminum sheeting. It will be understood that a sufficient number of ribs will be spaced along the tubular frame members to rigidify the supporting panels. In the case of the supporting panels 20, 21 and 22, 23, it is preferred that they be provided with sets of hand-hole openings 28 so that the stretcher bearers may conveniently grip the tubular frame members to carry the stretcher from it opposite sides, the hand-hole openings also providing convenient places of attachment for straps or other attachment means.

In the embodiment illustrated, the extensible tubular members 15 and 16 are disposed inwardly with respect to the tubular frame members 13 and 14, being telescopically received within the supporting panels 22 and 23. In the embodiment illustrated, locking fixtures 29 and 30 integrally formed with the ribs 26a and 27a permit the extensible tubular members 15 and 16 to be moved outwardly or inwardly relative to the tubular members 13 and 14, thereby permitting adjustment of the length of the stretcher to fit different size patients.

While the specific nature of the pivot locks 10 and 19 which detachably interconnect the complimentary frame parts 4 and 5 of upper section 1 and parts 11 and 12 of lower section 2, respectively, does not constitute a limitation on the invention, it is preferred to employ the pivot lock construction disclosed in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,801,208 in which each lock comprises, as illustrated in FIG. 3, a first part 31 having a horizontally disposed tongue adapted to be received in a bifurcated second part 32, the tongue part having an open-ended slot therein engageable with a pivot pin extending between the bifurcations of the second part, the first part also mounting a springbiased latch member engageable about the pivot pin to lock the parts together, the latch member being recessed and provided with a finger engageable release button which must be depressed within the confines of the part to release the latch from engagement with the pivot pin to permit separation of the parts. This arangement provdes a positive lock which cannot be accidentally released. At the same time the parts of the pivot lock may be readily and quickly disengaged by pressing the release button. Thus, as seen in FIG. 3, the parts 31 and 32 of pivot lock 10 have been disengaged and the complimentary frame parts 4, 5 and 11, 12 pivoted outwardly about the pivot lock 19. Such movement facilitates the insertion of the stretcher beneath a patient lying in the prone position. Of course, if the need arises, the pivot lock 19 also may be disengaged and the complimentary frame parts inserted separately beneath the patient from opposite sides, whereupon the lock will be interengaged to reassemble the stretcher.

The locking means 3 which interconnect the upper and lower frame sections are of similar construction to the pivot locks, comprising first or tongue parts 33 secured to the ends of tubular members 6 and 7 of the upper section 1 and second or bifurcated parts 34 secured to the ends of the tubular frame members 13 and 14 of the lower section 2. However, in order to insure rigidity of the frame sections when interconnected, the parts 33 and 34 have mating planar seats or stops, indicated at 35, which lock the parts against rotation when in the latched condition. In this connection, rigidity of the locking means 3 also may be obtained by closing the inner side of the bifurcated part 34 so that it defines a three-sided socket for receiving the tongue of part 33. Alternatively, the part 34 may be provided with a stop pin positioned to hold the tongue against pivoting movement relative to the bifurcated part. Similar stop means may be utilized in conjunction with pivot lock 10 to prevent inward movement of the frame parts 4 and 5, particularly when the upper section 1 is used in conjunction with the seat section now to be described.

Referring next to FIGS. 4 and 5, when it is desired to use the stretcher to transport a patient in a seated or fetal position, the lower section 2 is removed and replaced by a seat section generally indicated at 36 which comprises complimentary frame parts 37 and 38 having tubular members 39 and 40 with inturned ends 41 and 42 interconnected by a pivot lock 43 of the type previously described. The tubular members 39 and 40 mount supporting panels 44 and 45 constructed in the same manner as the previously described supporting panels.

The locking means 3a which interconnect the upper and seat sections utilizes the first or tongue parts 33 connected to the ends of tubular members 6 and 7, together with bifurcated tongue receiving parts 46 which correspond to the bifurcated parts 34 previously described in conjunction with lower section 2, although it is preferred to eliminate the planar seat 35 from the bifurcated part 46 so that the parts 33 and 46 may be readily assembled from any desired angle.

In order to permit pivoting movement of the seat section 36 relative to the upper section 1, an adjustable locking mechanism 47 connects the bifurcated parts 46 to the tubular members 39 and 40 of the seat section. The locking mechanisms 47 are of known construction, comprising inner parts 48 rigidly connected to the bifurcated parts 46, and outer parts 49 rigidly connected to the ends of tubular members 39 and 40. The parts 48 and 49 have mating disc-like toothed faces which are rotatable relative to each other about the shaft of adjustment knob 49a when the faces are separated and locked relative to each other when the teeth on the faces are interengaged. The adjustment knob, when turned, acts to cam the faces from one position to the other. Thus, the adjustable locking mechanisms 47 permit the seat section 36 to be inclined relative to the plane of upper section 1 to any desired degree, as illustrated in FIG. 6 wherein the seat section 36 is shown disposed at right angles to the upper section 1, the doubled-headed arrow A indicating that the seat section 36 may be inclined relative to the upper section 1 at any desired angle.

The seat section 36 is provided with a retaining and safety strap 51 which is fixedly secured to the seat section 36, preferably surrounding one of the inner parts 48 of the adjustable locking mechanism 47. The strap 51 has a first part 52 of a length to span the distance between the opposite sides of the complimentary frame parts 4, 5 and 37, 38, the strap part 52 having a ring 53 on its outermost end adapted to engage about a headed stud 54 projecting outwardly from the inner part 48 on the opposite side of the seat section. When the ring on the strap 52 is engaged about the stud 54, in the manner illustrated in FIG. 8, the strap effectively secures together the inner ends of complimentary frame sections 37 and 38 as well as the inner ends of complimentary frame parts 4 and 5. The frame parts are thus prevented from moving outwardly relative to each other and hence insures against possible separation of the frame parts. While the connection between locking parts 33 and 46 could be rigidified in the manner previously described in conjunction with bifurcated parts 34, it is preferred to permit pivotal movement between the parts in order to facilitate assembly of the stretcher about the injured person. The strap 51 also includes a second part 55 adapted to pass around the patient, the strap part 55 being engageable with a buckle 56 carried by a coacting third strap part 57. As should now be evident, the strap 51 serves both safety and retaining functions.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, the sections of the stretcher may be readily assembled about an injured patient. For example, if an injured patient were seated on vehicle seat 57 having a seat back 58, it will be readily apparent that the complimentary frame parts 37 and 38 of the seat section could be separated from each other and from upper section 1, the complimentary frame parts being inserted from opposite sides between the seat and the patient, and the pivot lock 43 interengaged to secure the parts together. Thereafter, the frame part 5 of the upper frame section can be connected to part 48 in the manner illustrated, whereupon when the parts 33 and 46 of the locking means are interengaged, the part 5 can be pivoted upwardly so as to slide between the patient and seat back 58. The complimentary frame part 4 of upper section 1 would be attached and fitted in like manner, thereby effectively constructing the stretcher about the patient. Upon being strapped to the stretcher, the stretcher thus becomes an extraction device by means of which the patient may be removed from the seat without harmful lifting, twisting or turning movement and, in all probability, transported to the hospital in the seated position. It should be readily apparent that if the patient were encounted in a fetal position, possibly thrown beneath the dashboard of the vehicle, the stretcher could be assembled around the patient and the patient extricated in the position in which found.

Referring next to FIGS. 9 and 10, the invention also contemplates the provision of a detachable headrest 59 comprising a planar supporting plate 60 having a rearwardly inclined lowermost end 61 mounting on its rear surface a spaced apart pair of brackets 62 each of which has a hook-like upper end 63 of a size to engage about the inturned tubular ends 8 and 9 of the upper frame section 1. The brackets terminate downwardly in fingers 64 which coact with the lowermost marginal edges of support plate 60 to engage the uppermost ends of supporting panels 20 and 21 of the upper frame section 1. A pair of headed studs 66 project rearwaradly from the upper marginal edge of supporting plate 60. The headrest 59 is shown attached to upper frame section 1 in FIG. 11, wherein it will be seen that when the hooklike portion 63 of the brackets are engaged about the inturned tubular ends of the frame parts, the lowermost end of the supporting plate 60 will be held in engagement with the supporting panels 20 and 21 by the fingers 64.

A head cushion 67, as seen in FIGS. 12 and 13, is adapted to be seated on the headrest 59, the cushion preferably comprising a padded base member 68 mounting a pair of head supporting sections 69 and 70 which, as seen in FIG. 13, have inwardly inclined upper surfaces 71 and 72. The head cushion may be formed from any suitable cushion-forming material and the outermost sides of the sections 69 and 70 are provided with strap-receiving loops 73 and 74 overlying the base member 68.

As seen in FIG. 14, the loop members 73 and 74 are adapted to receive a head strap 75 to which a chin strap 76 is secured, the opposite ends of the head strap 75 being adapted to pass around the headrest 59 where they may be secured together, as by means of Velcroe fasteners, indicated at 77 and 78, or other suitable fastening means. The chin strap 76, on the other hand, terminates upwardly in extensions 79 and 80 each of which has a series of eyelets 81 adapted to selectively engage the head stud 66 on the back of supporting plate 60. With this arrangement, the patient's head may be securely fastened to the headrest and hence effectively immobilized during extrication and transport to the hospital.

As should now be apparent, the instant invention provides a break-away scoop stretcher which can be utilized to effectively and safely extricate an injured person from wreckage irrespective of the position in which the patient is found. The three frame sections which make up the stretcher may be readily stored in a relatively small space, as may the head supporting attachments. The structure combines all of the advantages of hitherto known break-away split stretchers with the added ability to remove and transport a patient in the variety of different positions, the stretcher construction being such that the parts may be assembled to the patient at the site of the accident.

Numerous modifications may be made in the invention without departing from its spirit and purpose. A number of such modifications have already been set forth and others will undoubtedly occur to the skilled worker in the art upon reading this specification. Accordingly, it is not intended that the invention be limited other than in the manner set forth in the claims which follow.