Title:
Air cushion bed with water-draining device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to an air cushion bed with a water-draining device, comprising a water tank with an air cushion on top, air conduits, pumps and a controller. The foregoing air cushion contains multiple air bladders that are linked together; the air conduits are installed at both sides of the upper part of the air cushion with air holes toward various directions; the controller activates the pump to convey air, further controlling the inflation and deflation of the air bladders and the air spurting from the air conduits. The base plate of the water tank is tilted, having a water outlet at the lowest part, therefore the wastewater, contained by the water tank, can be channeled through the tilted base plate and discharged through the water outlet. The foregoing air conduits spurt cold or hot air, enabling the user to keep warm during the winter and keep cool during the summer, and providing the disabled or patients in the persistent vegetative state with heat-preserving effect, and functions of both body-washing and excrement cleaning while in bed.



Inventors:
Chang, Chi-an (Tainan County, CN)
Application Number:
09/987289
Publication Date:
09/12/2002
Filing Date:
11/14/2001
Assignee:
CHANG CHI-AN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/665, 210/257.1, 210/348, 210/422
International Classes:
A61G7/00; A61G7/057; A61H23/04; (IPC1-7): A47C17/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HO, THOMAS Y
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACON & THOMAS, PLLC (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An air cushion bed, comprising: an air cushion, consisted of at least one air bladder; and a water tank, forming a water-containing space with a base plate and four side walls, along with a water-draining device.

2. An air cushion bed as in claim 1, wherein said water tank contains said four side walls formed integrally with said base plate, and said base plate is tilted to channel the discharge of water by said water drainage device.

3. An air cushion bed as in claim 2, wherein a water outlet is installed at the lowest part of said tilted base plate.

4. An air cushion bed as in claim 3, wherein a filter is installed on top of said water outlet to filter out filth.

5. An air cushion bed as in claim 1, claim 2, or claim 3, wherein said water tank is made of an air bladder that is filled with air, thus forming a water-holding space.

6. An air cushion bed as in claim 1, wherein a controller is installed to control the airflow to said air bladder from a pump through air conduits, thus controlling the inflation and deflation of said air bladder.

7. An air cushion bed as in claim 6, wherein an air conduit with air holes is installed to connect said air bladder and said pump controlled by said controller, thus the air is to be spurted out to said air bladder from said pump through said air conduit.

8. An air cushion bed as in claim 7, wherein said controller controls the spurting of either cool or warm air.

9. An air cushion bed as in claim 7, wherein the combination of said pump and said controller includes a micro-computing controller, said pump, an electromagnetic tee valve, a pressure sensor, and an automatic pressure controller. Said pump is controlled by said micro-computing controller, and said electromagnetic tee valve is installed between said pump and said air conduit. Said pressure sensor detects the pressure of the air bladder and enables the inflation and deflation of said air bladder.

10. An air cushion bed as in claim 6, wherein the combination of said pump and said controller includes a micro-computing controller, said pump, an electromagnetic tee valve, and a heating unit. Said pump is controlled by said micro-computing controller, and said electromagnetic tee valve is installed between said pump and said air conduit. Said heating unit is installed at the air outlet of said pump, thus heating up the air spurted through said air hole of said air conduit.

11. An air cushion bed as in claim 1, wherein said water tank can be placed on common sickbeds.

12. An air cushion bed, installed on a supporting frame containing legs with wheels, comprising: an air cushion, consisting of at least one air bladder; and a water tank with a tilted base plate, whereon said air cushion is installed, also a water outlet is installed at the lowest point of said base plate.

13. An air cushion bed as in claim 12, wherein a filter is installed at said water outlet to filter out the filth.

14. An air cushion bed as in claim 12, wherein a controller is installed to control the air flow from said pump to said air bladder through said air conduit, thus enabling the control of the inflation and deflation of said air bladder.

15. An air cushion bed as in claim 14, wherein an air conduit with air holes is installed to connect said air bladder and said pump controlled by said controller, thus the airflow is to be spurted out to said air bladder from said pump through said air conduit.

16. An air cushion bed as in claim 15, wherein said controller controls the spurting of either cool or warm air.

17. An air cushion bed as in claim 12, wherein said water tank comprises a shower nozzle and a placing rack, and said shower nozzle joining with a water hose having both sources of hot and cold water connected.

18. An air cushion bed as in claim 1 or 12, wherein a pillow is attached to said air bladder.

19. An air cushion bed as in claim 1 or 12, wherein said air bladder is made of waterproof material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a folding air cushion bed, with a water-draining device that is capable of containing the wastewater from the body-washing and excrement-cleaning, and discharging the wastewater with the tilted base plate through the water outlet. In addition, the present invention provides cool or warm air, preventing the user, with the function of heat-preserving and coolness-keeping, from dampening, germ-growing condition and skin affection, thus providing the user with functions of body cleaning, body drying and wastewater processing.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] For prior arts in sickbed design, aside from the consideration of the comfortability of the sick, certain additional functions, like beds with air cushions, are added to accommodate the need of the disabled or patients in the persistent vegetative state. However, no prior arts in sickbed design takes into account the bathing and cleaning needs for patients unable to get off the sickbeds themselves. Please refer to FIG. 1-A and FIG. 1-B of the prior arts. The air cushion bed 1 comprises multiple air bladders 11, an air conduit 12 and a control valve 13, with the air conduit 12 connecting the multiple air bladders 11 and jointing the control valve 13. Therefore the user, by operating the control valve 13 to control the airflow, can adjust the air pressure of the air bladders 11, and enable the air cushion bed to be in a state of undulation for comfortable use by the user.

[0005] Nevertheless, the air cushion bed 1 of the prior art provides only the function of adjusting the air pressure of the air cushion for comfortable use, without considering the need of bodily sanitation for disabled patients and patients in the persistent vegetative state, leaving patients with foregoing conditions no choice but to wear adult diapers, thus creating tremendous financial burden to the families of the patients. Besides, even though the caregivers can use wet towels to clean the patients, the sanitary effect will not be thorough, for the caregivers cannot provide the patients with body-bathing and hair-washing needs. Even though the caregivers may try to bathe the patients with water, the wastewater will wet the sheets and drip to the ground, thus creating a dangerous working environment for the caregivers as well as inconvenience for the patients.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention provides an air cushion bed with a water-draining device, whereby enhancing the existing function of the sickbed through adding the water-draining capacity with the air cushion bed, thus creating a sanitary environment for the patients. The present invention includes a cushion with at least one air bladder, air conduits, a water tank, a pump, and a controller. The foregoing water tank contains front, rear, left and right walls and a tilted base plate with a water outlet, and is supported by a supporting frame that includes four legs with wheels so that the bed can be moved with ease. The air cushion is placed on top of the water tank's base plate, with the air conduits installed on both top-right and top-left of the air cushion. Thus the caregiver can use water to bathe the patients and clean the excrement and other matters, with the wastewater being flushed down to the water tank through the peripheries of the air bladder, then being channeled by the tilted base plate of the water tank to be discharged through the water outlet. In addition, the present invention provides cool or warm air through the air conduits, an additional function that not only keeps the air cushion dry and the bed warm during the winter and cool during the summer, but also keeps the patient's body as well as the bed from dampening and germ-growing condition without any skin affection. Hence, the present invention furnishes the disabled or patients in the persistent vegetative state with the convenience of being bathed in bed, and with the practical solutions of the discharge of the excrement and wastewater after bathing and cleaning, as well as the effect of keeping the patient warm.

[0007] Another object of the present invention is to provide the patient with cleaning the excrement in bed, thus alleviating the financial burden of the patient's family by saving the expenses of using adult diapers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims and accompanying drawings where:

[0009] FIG. 1-A is a top plan view of an air cushion bed of the prior art;

[0010] FIG. 1-B is a side view of an air cushion bed of the prior art;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a structural perspective view of an air cushion bed embodying features of the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 3 is a top plan view of an air cushion bed embodying features of the present invention;

[0013] FIG. 4 is a right side view of an air cushion bed embodying features of the present invention;

[0014] FIG. 5 is a front side view of an air cushion bed embodying features of the present invention;

[0015] FIGS. 6-A and 6-B both depict an air cushion bed with one of the preferred embodiments of the present invention, wherein:

[0016] FIG. 6-A shows the inflation of the odd-numbered air cushions (A) within an air cushion bed embodying features of the present invention; and

[0017] FIG. 6-B shows the inflation of the even-numbered air cushions (B) within an air cushion bed embodying features of the present invention;

[0018] FIG. 7 shows the cleaning means of an air cushion bed embodying features of the present invention; and

[0019] FIG. 8 is a structural perspective view of an air cushion bed with another preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0020] As shown in FIG. 2, the air cushion bed 2 with water-draining device of the present invention mainly comprises at least one air bladder 21 made of waterproof material, air conduits 221, 222 and 223, a water tank 24, pumps 231 and 232, and a controller 25; wherein the water tank 24 is supported by a supporting frame 28 that contains at least four legs, with the end of each leg jointing a wheel 29, enabling the air cushion bed to be moved with ease. In addition, the water tank 24 contains front, rear, left and right walls and a tilted base plate with a water outlet, thus forming a water-holding space. The base plate 241 tilts from one end (e.g. the left end) to the other end (e.g. the right end), and from the upper end to the lower end, thus forming the tilting structure sloping from the upper left end to the lower right end (as shown in FIG. 4). The water outlet 242, capable of filtering the wastewater, is installed at the lowest part of the base plate 241. The air bladder 21, installed on top of the base plate 241 in the water tank 24, contains an air bladder 211 that is kept air-full and used to support the head of the patient, with a removable pillow 30 on top. The pillow 30 can also become part of the air bladder 21. The air bladder 21 is pierced through and connected, or as shown in FIG. 3, the air bladder 21(A) and air bladder 21(B) are pierced through and connected respectively, by the first air conduit 221 and the second air conduit 222, both of which are linked to the first pump 231. The third air conduit 223, linked to the second pump 232, is installed at both sides of the upper part of the air bladder 21, the width of which shall at least wider than the shoulder length of the patient so that the patient will not lay on the air conduit 223. An electric circuit (as shown in FIG. 5) is formed between the controller 25 and the pump 231 and 232, enabling the user to control the air-pumping condition of the air bladder 21.

[0021] Also shown in FIG. 2, the air cushion bed 2 with the water-draining device of the present invention includes the controller 25 to output controlling signals for the operation of the first pump 231, and further control both in and out of the airflow through the air conduits 221 and 222, which, while both channeling the air in, can make the air bladder 21 reach the full air-containing capacity. Moreover, a pressure sensor (not shown in drawings) is installed at the air outlet of the pump 231, so that if the air pressure reaches the pre-determined pressure value, the operation of the pump 231 will be stopped, with the air-channeling by the air conduit 221 also stopped. The tilting angle of the base plate 241 is so slight that the patient resting on the air bladder 21 shall not sense it; besides, the air bladder 21 can be designed with linear variations (as shown in FIG. 4), so that the horizontality of the air bladder 21 shall be kept after the completion of the inflation. Water is used to flush the excrement or clean the body of the patient resting on top of the air bladder 21, thereafter the wastewater is flushed through the peripheries of every air bladder 21 down to the water tank 24, then is channeled by the tilted base plate 241 and discharged through the water outlet 242.

[0022] Also through operating the controller 25, an output signal can be sent to control the operation of the pump 232, which then pumps the air in through the third air conduit 223, so the air is spurted from both sides of the air conduit 223 toward the patient resting on the bed, thus keeping the patient's body dry and comfortable. Moreover, an extra bedding cushion (not shown in drawings) can be added on the air conduit 223 for the patient's comfortable use; also at the outlet of the pump 232 an instant heating unit can be added to heat up the air instantly, enabling the air conduit 223 to pump out cool air during the summer or hot air during the winter, which is one of the embodiments of the present invention.

[0023] It is easy for those skilled in the art to employ the micro-computing device for controlling the inflation and deflation of the air bladder 21, and the micro-computing device can also be included in the present invention to achieve the inflation and deflation of respective air bladders, and switch the patient's pressure points while resting in bed. The automatic micro-computing control device of the present invention is further described as follows. As shown in FIGS. 6-A and 6-B, the controller 25 is an automatic micro-computing control device, which includes a pressure sensor, an automatic pressure controller and an electromagnetic tee valve, wherein the electromagnetic tee valve connects three tubes (one in and two outs), with one end linking the pump 231 to pump in air, and the other two ends linking the air conduits 221 and 222, while only either one of the two air conduits 221 and 222 receiving the air pumped in from the pump 231, with another one being shut. When the controller 25 being activated, a signal is outputted to the pump 231 to pump the air into the air conduit 221 through the electromagnetic tee valve, thus inflating the air bladders 21(A), as shown in FIG. 6-A. In addition, a pressure sensor, installed at the inlet tube near the electromagnetic tee valve, includes a signal wire that connects with the automatic pressure controller, wherein a pre-determined value is installed, so when the pressure level of the air conduit 221 and the air bladder 21(A) reaches the predetermined pressure value, the automatic pressure controller will be activated to cause the electromagnetic tee valve to close the passage to the air conduit 221 and the air bladders 21(A), and to open the passage to the air conduit 222, thus inflating the air bladders 21(B), while the deflation of the air bladders 21(A) begins. And then when the pressure level of the air conduit 222 and the air bladder 21(B) reaches the predetermined pressure value, the automatic pressure controller will again be activated to cause the electromagnetic tee valve to open the passage to the air conduit 221, thus inflating the air bladders 21(A) instead. Therefore the process repeats itself until the controller 25 is turned off. With the process of alternately inflating and deflating the air bladders 21(A) and 21(B), the pressure points of the patient resting in bed are switched, thus the patient's muscles are relaxed, the blood flow enlivened and the damage or necrosis of the patient's back muscles prevented.

[0024] FIG. 7 shows the cleaning means of the air cushion bed embodying features of the present invention. The air cushion bed 2 with water-draining device further comprises a shower nozzle 26 joining with the water hose, and a placing rack 261 whereon the shower nozzle 26 can be placed. The water nozzle 26 contains a water valve switch whereon the user can operate by using fingers when holding the shower nozzle 26, thus enabling the user to select different spray types and water temperatures while using. The water hose is connected to a water heater so that warm water can be provided. Consequently, the hot and cold water can be provided through the shower nozzle 26 for the user to wash hair and bathing. A water bucket 27 can be placed beneath the water outlet 242 to contain the wastewater, or a tube 27 can be connected to the water outlet 242 to channel the wastewater directly to the drainage ditch, while a filter is installed on top of the water outlet 242 to prevent body hair or other matters from blocking the flow of water. Certainly the source of water shall not be limited to tap water, for beside the bed a water tank can be placed wherein an electric heating device and a temperature controller can be installed to control the water temperature and provide warm or cold water for bathing and cleaning; in addition, a water level detector can be installed to issue warning through warning light or buzzer sound when the water level becomes too low.

[0025] FIG. 8 shows another embodiment of the present invention, wherein the air cushion bed with the water-draining device is made of a waterproof material, thus forming a water-holding air container 31 to function as the water tank 24, with the air bladder 21 placed on the base plate 311 at the bottom of the water-holding air container 31, wherewith an air conduit is connected, with another end connected to the first pump 231 to form a single circuit, thus different from those of the air conduits 221, 222 and 223. When the controller 25 is activated, a controlling signal is outputted to control the operation of the first pump 231 to inflate and deflate the water-holding air container 31 through the air conduit. When the inflation of the water-holding air container 31 is completed, the bottom surface of the concave shall tilt from one end (e.g. the left end) to the other end (e.g. the right end), and from the upper end to the lower end, thus forming a tilted structure sloping from the upper left end to the lower right end, with a water outlet installed at the lowest part of the bottom surface. The tilting angle of the bottom surface 311 is so slight that the patient resting on the air bladder 21 shall not sense it; besides, the air bladder 21 can be designed with linear variations, so that the horizontality of the air bladder 21 shall be kept after the completion of the inflation. Water is used to flush the excrement or clean the body of the patient resting on top of the air bladder 21, thereafter the wastewater is flushed through the peripheries of every air bladder 21 down to the water-holding air container 31, then is channeled by the bottom surface 311 and discharged through the water outlet. The embodiment of the present invention provides the user with the foldable function, for the air bladders 21 and the water-holding air container 31 can both be folded for safekeeping after complete deflation. Certainly the embodiment of the present invention, as the previous one, also provides cool or warm air, keeping the user, with the function of heat preserving and coolness-keeping, from dampening, germ-growing condition and skin affection. In addition, the air cushion bed in the embodiment of the present invention can be placed on top of other common sickbeds.

[0026] Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred embodiments thereof, those skilled in the art can easily understand that all kinds of alterations and changes can be made within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. For example, the air cushion bed with the water-draining device of the present invention can further be installed with either fixed or removable water containers on the supporting frame to contain the wastewater or store the cold and hot water for bathing and cleaning. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred embodiments contained herein.