Title:
Restraint for bed covers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A restraint for bed covers serves to pull an upper bedsheet or cover taut laterally across a bed and person confined therein. The present restraint assists in preventing a confused or restless bedridden patient from dislodging or pulling at dressings, catheters, IV tubes, and the like, thus assuring that proper treatment is provided for the patient. The present restraint comprises a relatively short elastic strap having a bed cover attachment end with a garter-type fastener extending therefrom, i.e., a button and clasp assembly. The opposite end portion of the strap includes complementary portions of hook and loop fastener material (e.g., Velcro®) disposed thereon, with the strap looping about a portion of the bedframe structure and securing back to itself. A preferred embodiment includes a D-ring or the like extending from the button and clasp attachment, through which the strap is drawn for greater leverage before being secured to itself.



Inventors:
Lantagne, Lynda D. (Summerville, SC, US)
Application Number:
10/260266
Publication Date:
04/01/2004
Filing Date:
10/01/2002
Assignee:
LANTAGNE LYNDA D.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
128/869, 5/496
International Classes:
A47C21/02; (IPC1-7): A47G9/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CONLEY, FREDRICK C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A restraint for bed covers, comprising: at least one flat and flexible elastic strap having a bedframe structure contact surface and a non-contact surface opposite said bedframe structure contact surface, and devoid of lateral extensions therefrom; a bed cover attachment end extending from said strap; a strap self-attachment end opposite said bed cover attachment end of said strap; a bed structure attachment portion disposed upon said strap, between said bed cover attachment end and said strap self-attachment end thereof; a bed cover attachment clasp extending from said bed cover attachment end of said strap; and complementary, mating first and second portions of hook and loop fastener material disposed upon one said surface of said bed structure attachment portion of said strap.

2. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 1, wherein: said first of said portions of hook and loop fastener material is disposed upon said non-contact surface of said strap, generally medially therealong; said second of said portions of hook and loop fastener material is disposed upon said non-contact surface of said strap, adjacent said strap self-attachment end; and a cinch ring is disposed at said bed cover attachment end of said strap, and facing said bedframe structure contact surface of said strap.

3. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 2, wherein said cinch ring comprises a D-ring formed of non-metallic material.

4. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 2, further including: a strap loop formed in said bed cover attachment end extending from said strap; and said cinch ring and said bed cover attachment clasp captured by and secured to said strap by said strap loop.

5. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 1, wherein: said first of said portions of hook and loop fastener material is disposed upon said contact surface of said strap, adjacent said bed cover attachment end thereof; said second of said portions of hook and loop fastener material is disposed upon said contact surface of said strap, adjacent said strap self-attachment end; and a medial strap area devoid of hook and loop fastener material is disposed between said first and said second portions of hook and loop fastener material.

6. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 1, wherein said bed cover attachment clasp comprises a loop having an eye with an elongated neck extending therefrom, and a mating resilient button removably disposed therein and selectively capturing the bed covers therebetween.

7. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 6, wherein said loop of said bed cover attachment clasp is formed of a nonmetallic material.

8. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 1, wherein said strap is formed of a woven fabric elastic material.

9. A restraint for bed covers, comprising: at least one flat and flexible elastic strap having a bedframe structure contact surface and a non-contact surface opposite said bedframe structure contact surface, and devoid of lateral extensions therefrom; a bed cover attachment end extending from said strap; a strap self-attachment end opposite said bed cover attachment end of said strap; a bed structure attachment portion disposed upon said strap, between said bed cover attachment end and said strap self-attachment end thereof; a bed cover attachment clasp extending from said bed cover attachment end of said strap; a first portion of hook and loop fastener material disposed upon said non-contact surface of said strap, generally medially therealong; a second portion of hook and loop fastener material disposed upon said non-contact surface of said strap, adjacent said strap self-attachment end, mating with and selectively engaging said first portion of hook and loop fastener material; and a cinch ring disposed at said bed cover attachment end of said strap, and facing said bedframe structure contact surface of said strap.

10. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 9, wherein said cinch ring comprises a D-ring formed of non-metallic material.

11. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 9, further including: a strap loop formed in said bed cover attachment end extending from said strap; and said cinch ring and said bed cover attachment clasp captured by and secured to said strap by said strap loop.

12. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 9, wherein said bed cover attachment clasp comprises a loop having an eye with an elongated neck extending therefrom, and a mating resilient button removably disposed therein and selectively capturing the bed covers therebetween.

13. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 12, wherein said loop of said bed cover attachment clasp is formed of a non-metallic material.

14. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 9, wherein said strap is formed of a woven fabric elastic material.

15. A restraint for bed covers, comprising: at least one flat and flexible elastic strap having a bedframe structure contact surface and a non-contact surface opposite said bedframe structure contact surface, and devoid of lateral extensions therefrom; a bed cover attachment end extending from said strap; a strap self-attachment end opposite said bed cover attachment end of said strap; a bed structure attachment portion disposed upon said strap, between said bed cover attachment end and said strap self-attachment end thereof; a bed cover attachment clasp extending from said bed cover attachment end of said strap; a first portion of hook and loop fastener material disposed upon said contact surface of said strap, adjacent said bed cover attachment end thereof; a second portion of hook and loop fastener material disposed upon said contact surface of said strap, adjacent said strap self-attachment end, mating with and selectively engaging said first portion of hook and loop fastener material; and a medial strap area devoid of hook and loop fastener material disposed between said first portion and said second portion of hook and loop fastener material.

16. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 15, further including: a strap loop formed in said bed cover attachment end extending from said strap; and said bed cover attachment clasp captured by and secured to said strap by said strap loop.

17. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 15, wherein said bed cover attachment clasp comprises a loop having an eye with an elongated neck extending therefrom, and a mating resilient button removably disposed therein and selectively capturing the bed covers therebetween.

18. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 17, wherein said loop of said bed cover attachment clasp is formed of a non-metallic material.

19. The restraint for bed covers according to claim 15, wherein said strap is formed of a woven fabric elastic material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to tiedown straps and restraints, and more particularly to two embodiments of a restraint particularly adapted for securing a bedsheet or the like across a bed. The present restraints are particularly useful in the hospital or patient care environments for restraining confused or active patients to prevent their removal of dressings, IV tubes, and the like.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] From time to time in the medical field, patients exhibit various negative behaviors toward their medical treatment. This may be due to Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, head injury, or for various reasons. Such patients often attempt to remove catheters and IV tubes, and/or remove dressings or other medication which has been applied. Obviously, some form of restraint is necessary under such circumstances, in order to prevent the patient from doing harm to him or herself.

[0005] Accordingly, various restraints have been developed in the past, which secure the patient's arms and/or other portions of the patient's body, to prevent the patient from accessing any medical treatments which have been applied. A problem with many of these restraints, is that the patient is so severely restricted that he or she cannot move to relieve pressure points which develop during prolonged bed rest or immobile confinement. The patient must receive periodic care and be moved from time to time, in order to prevent the formation of decubitus ulcers (bedsores). Yet, restraints which permit the patient to move about and change position, often do not provide the security required for the medical treatment which has been applied to the patient.

[0006] In addition to the above noted problems with patient restraints, many such restraints comprise relatively long straps and the like which extend over the bed covers and patient and completely beneath the bed, and secure end-to-end. Such elongated restraints are cumbersome at best to install, and do nothing to prevent movement of the bedsheet due to the limited motion of which the patient is capable. The patient may still at least partially remove the bedsheet and/or covering, by thrashing about or just by ordinary movement in the bed, thus requiring the restraints to be loosened to reposition the bedsheet and/or covers, and then again securing the restraints.

[0007] The present inventor is also aware of a number of different straps, ties, etc. which are adapted to secure bedding to the bed, but which do not secure a top sheet or covering securely across a person in the bed. Most such devices are adapted to secure a lower sheet atop the mattress, and do little or nothing to secure the top sheet and/or covers across a person in the bed, or to limit movement of the person in the bed. Accordingly, a need will be seen for a restraint for bed covers, which holds the top sheet or cover securely across the patient confined to the bed, and precludes excessive movement of the patient to prevent the patient from accessing and/or removing IV tubes, catheters, dressings, etc. which may be applied to the patient.

[0008] A discussion of the related art of which the present inventor is aware, and its differences and distinctions from the present invention, is provided below.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 1,156,740 issued on Oct. 12, 1915 to Charles M. Berdan, titled “Blanket Holder,” describes an elongated elastic strap which is adapted to secure completely around a mattress. Length adjustment is provided, and two tabs having clasp and button elements thereon, extend laterally from the strap. It is not clear from the Berdan disclosure, just what the orientation of the device is intended to be, but it would appear that the two button and clasp bedsheet attachments would secure the sheet longitudinally, rather than laterally as does the present invention, when the elongated strap is secured about the mattress.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 1,602,305 issued on Oct. 5, 1926 to Erasmus Helm, titled “Bed Covering Holder,” describes a relatively short elastic or other strap, having a button and clasp at one end and a pair of tie strings at the opposite end. The Helm device attaches around a portion of the bed frame, with the button and clasp securing to the edge of the bedsheet to secure the bedsheet across the bed. However, the Helm device requires that the ties be secured about a portion of the bed frame, rather than using the continuous length of strap having complementary attachment means, for securing the strap back to itself around the bed frame structure. The present bed frame attachment means greatly facilitates the attachment of the device to the bed frame, as opposed to the relatively tedious tying of the device to the frame as required by Helm. The present bed frame attachment system greatly facilitates adjustment of the device, as well.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 2,163,521 issued on Jun. 20, 1939 to Elmer J. Schumacher, titled “Garter Fastener,” describes a grip comprising two plates, with one having a channel along one edge and the other having an edge which fits into the channel. The fabric of the hosiery is gripped between the two edges of the plates, when the plates are secured together. The Schumacher fastener differs considerably from the present restraint, in that (1) Schumacher does not use a button and clasp temporary fastener to grip the fabric, but uses a snap fastener to secure the to plates together; and (2) the Schumacher strap is a permanent part of the garter, and cannot be secured to another structure (e.g., bed frame).

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 2,326,399 issued on Aug. 10, 1943 to Della M. Shields, titled “Bed Clothes Harness,” describes a series of harness strap embodiments. One includes a bottom strap which extends transversely beneath the mattress, with a pair of longitudinal straps extending therefrom and an opposite pair of longitudinal straps which are pinned to the bottom of the mattress. A series of button and clasp fasteners are provided on the distal ends of each of the longitudinal straps and on the top of the lateral strap surrounding the mattress. The sheet is gripped within these button and clasp fasteners. Other embodiments function in much the same manner, but include ties to secure the harness to the bed structure. Shields does not provide any means for securing any of the straps back to themselves for single person adjustment, as provided by the present invention. Moreover, all of the Shields embodiments secure beneath the mattress, which makes it impractical to install or remove the devices while the bed is occupied. The present restraints do not secure beneath the mattress, but only to the bed frame and covering, and may be installed and removed while the bed is occupied.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 2,857,643 issued on Oct. 28, 1958 to Guy Tomsic, titled “Contour Sheets,” describes a relatively short strap having a grip on each end thereof, for grasping diagonally opposite sides of a sheet to pull the sheet taut over a mattress. Tomsic discloses a series of different adjusters for his device, but all of the embodiments secure beneath the mattress, rather than attaching to the bed frame as in the case of the present invention.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 3,092,848 issued on Jun. 11, 1963 to George B. Gronvold, titled “Bed Sheet Holder,” describes a pair of diagonally disposed straps which extend beneath the mattress to secure to the corners of the bottom sheet of the assembly. The ends of the straps are bifurcated and attach to opposed corners of the sheet. Gronvold does not provide any means of securing a relatively short strap to the side members of the bed frame to grip the adjacent sheet, as in the case of the present invention. The Gronvold strap assembly differs from the present invention in the same manner as the strap arrangements of the Berdan '740, Shields '399, and Tomsic '643 U.S. patents discussed above, in that all of those devices pass beneath the mattress and cannot be installed or removed without moving the mattress.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 4,541,137 issued on Sep. 17, 1985 to Lester K. Murray, titled “Bedding Holder,” describes a device formed as a single component of semi-rigid material (plastic, etc.), with one end extending beneath a mattress and the opposite end extending therefrom. The opposite end comprises a pair of arms which grip the bedsheet or blankets therebetween, with a latch component holding the two arms together to secure the sheet(s) therebetween. The Murray device cannot be used in the manner of the present invention, i.e., wrapping it about the frame structure of the bed, due to the relatively inflexible nature of the Murray holder. Moreover, the Murray device is anchored beneath the mattress as in many other devices discussed above, thus requiring that the mattress be moved for installing or removing the device.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 4,660,240 issued on Apr. 28, 1987 to William B. Hutton et al., titled “Device For Attaching Sheets To A Waterbed,” describes an elastic strap which uses a snap fastener to attach to the inside wall of the box structure of a waterbed. The opposite, free end of the strap includes a slotted clasp into which a flanged button is installed, with the combination gripping the sheet therebetween. Hutton et al. do not provide any means of passing their strap around the bed frame or some component thereof, as in the case of the present invention. Moreover, the button of the sheet attachment assembly of the Hutton et al. device, is completely separate from the remainder of the device; Hutton et al. do not provide any means of attaching the button to the remainder of the device when the button is removed from the clasp.

[0017] U.S. Pat. No. 4,662,016 issued on May 5, 1987 to Ronald D. Seeman, titled “Bedclothes Retainer,” describes a series of relatively short straps having a bedsheet attachment clip at one end and hook and loop fastening material at the other. A first hook and loop panel is permanently attached beneath the mattress or bedframe, with the mating material at the end of one strap being secured thereto. A second strap may be secured to the first strap, using the same procedure. As in the case of most of the other devices with which the present inventor is aware, Seeman requires that the mattress be moved in order to install and remove his retainers, or at least that a permanent anchor be installed beneath the bed or bedframe, and that a person reach beneath the bed in order to remove and install the Seeman retainers.

[0018] U.S. Pat. No. 4,829,617 issued on May 16, 1989 to Patrick S. Dameron, titled “Bedding Attachment Devices,” describes a series of embodiments, each having hook and loop material which attaches removably to mating material which is permanently installed beneath the frame of the bed assembly. At least one of the embodiments includes a series of straps extending from a single anchor point, with each of the straps having a button and clasp (i.e., garter-type) fastener at the distal or free end thereof, for securing to the bedding. The Dameron embodiments differ from the present invention, in that Dameron does not provide any means of looping one end or portion of the strap around a portion of the bed frame, as does the present invention. Dameron requires that a person reach beneath the bedframe to attach or remove his device.

[0019] U.S. Pat. No. 4,862,541 issued on Sep. 5, 1989 to William B. Hutton et al., titled “Device For Attaching A Sheet To A Mattress,” describes a strap which is placed diagonally beneath the corner of a mattress. The strap includes a slotted plate at each end, with a flanged button fitting into the plate and gripping the sheet therebetween, in the manner of a garter-type fastener. The '541 Hutton et al. device uses a similar means to fasten the sheet to the device as that disclosed in the Hutton et al. '240 U.S. patent, discussed further above. In the case of the Hutton et al. '541 device, the mattress must be moved in order to install or remove the device therefrom. Hutton et al. do not provide any means of removably securing their bedsheet fastener directly to the bedframe, as provided by the present invention.

[0020] U.S. Pat. No. 5,072,470 issued on Dec. 17, 1991 to Phillip J. Lysiak, titled “Device For Holding Bedclothes In A Fixed Position On A Bed,” describes a complex series of straps which extend between the mattress and a lower box spring or other mattress support. Lysiak requires that a series of peripheral bars be provided, around which the sheets, covers, etc. are wrapped. A series of clamps are then secured to the sheet or blanket wrapped bars, to draw the bedding taut over the upper mattress. The Lysiak system is impractical for use in a hospital or similar facility with bedridden patients, as the upper mattress must be lifted to adjust the straps using the Lysiak device. Moreover, the Lysiak assembly extends essentially omnidirectionally beneath the mattress, and clamps the edges of the bedding on all sides. This is clearly not workable for a top sheet or blanket, which must be folded back from the head of the bed.

[0021] U.S. Pat. No. 5,179,743 issued on Jan. 19, 1993 to Bennie L. Lanman, titled “Waterbed Sheet Attachment System,” describes a complex series of straps which are placed beneath a waterbed mattress, with the straps having distal ends which secure the overlying sheet or cover in place. The structure and function of the Lanman strap system is limited to securing only the sheet or cover immediately overlying the mattress, and cannot be used for securing upper sheets, covers, or blankets over a person in the bed, as the present invention provides. The Lanman assembly is more closely related to the strap system of the Lysiak '470 U.S. patent, discussed immediately above, than to the present invention.

[0022] U.S. Pat. No. 5,642,547 issued on Jul. 1, 1997 to William R. Hutton et al., titled “Bed Sheet Attachment Device For A Mattress, And Method,” describes the permanent installation of a gripper plate or clasp to the side or edge panel of a mattress at the time of manufacture. The clasp is configured like the conventional garter clasp, but the flanged button is a separate component which is used to capture the lower sheet or cover between the clasp and button. The clasp and its associated strap are permanently affixed to the side of the mattress, and cannot be removed. The device of the Hutton et al. '547 U.S. patent is incapable of securing an upper sheet to the mattress, as it would be covered or concealed by the lower sheet. In contrast, the present sheet retaining device is a separate entity from the mattress, and may be adjustably positioned as desired along the frame rails of the bed.

[0023] U.S. Pat. No. 5,815,861 issued on Oct. 6, 1998 to Linda LaGrange et al., titled “Sheet Gripping System,” describes a generally T-shaped strap having a long lateral crossmember and relatively short stem. The assembly is placed beneath the mattress, to secure the overlying bottom sheet by means of a conventional button and clasp attachment. The LaGrange et al. straps are more closely related to the straps of the Berdan '740 U.S. patent, discussed further above, than to the present invention, with its removable attachment to the bedframe rails and provision for securing sheets or covers laterally over a person in the bed.

[0024] U.S. Pat. No. 6,185,766 issued on Feb. 13, 2001 to Dorothy J. Farrugia, titled “Bed Covering Anchor System,” describes a series of straps which extend beneath the mattress, to secure a bottom sheet covering the mattress. The Farrugia strap system is more closely related to the bottom sheet retaining straps of the Gronvold '848, Lysiak '470, Lanman '743, and LaGrange et al. '861 U.S. patents, than to the present invention, as the Farrugia straps cannot be secured to the bedframe rails to extend around the vertical sides of the bottom sheet and attach to an upper sheet or covering to hold it tautly in place laterally across the bed, as does the present bed cover restraint invention.

[0025] U.S. Patent Publication No. 2002/116,763 published on Aug. 29, 2002 to Jeremy Weir et al., titled “Bed Covering Securing System,” describes a fitted lower sheet with a drawstring in its border, for securing beneath the mattress. Clearly, a drawstring attachment cannot be used to secure an upper sheet or cover over the bed, as one end of the upper sheet or cover must remain clear of the head of the bed.

[0026] French Patent Publication No. 966,658 published on Oct. 16, 1950 to Eugene Banyasz illustrates two embodiments of a garter-type clasp utilizing an elongate keeper which extends along the length of the clasp opening or passage. No means for attaching the device to the structure of a bedframe in order to secure the upper sheet or covers thereacross, is apparent in the '658 French Patent Publication.

[0027] Finally, German Patent Publication No. 1,040,473 published on Oct. 9, 1958 to Kurt Lorber illustrates a garter-type fastener apparently having an unattached button. The clasp extends downwardly from an elongate strap, with the assembly providing for the attachment of a sheet of material depending downwardly therefrom. This is opposite the disposition of the present bedcover restraint device, with its anchor strap attaching below the clasp to the underlying bedframe structure.

[0028] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singularly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus a restraint for bed covers solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0029] The present invention comprises two embodiments of a restraint or retaining device for securing an upper bedsheet, cover, or the like laterally across a bed, in order to assist in restraining a restless or confused patient therein. The present restraints each include a garter-type fastener at one end thereof, for securing to the bedsheet or other covering. The opposite bed structure attachment end of each restraint embodiment includes complementary hook and loop material disposed upon different portions thereof, and providing for the bed attachment end to be looped about a portion of the bed structure (e.g., frame rail, etc.) and secured back to itself. A preferred embodiment includes a D-ring for additional leverage and adjustment.

[0030] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide at least two embodiments of a restraint for bed covers, serving to secure the top sheet or cover laterally across the bed and any person within the bed, and holding the sheet or cover taut across the bed and person therein.

[0031] It is another object of the invention to provide such restraints comprising an elastic strap having a garter-type (i.e., button and clasp) bedsheet or cover fastener disposed at one end thereof, and an opposite bed structure attachment end having complementary hook and loop fastener material portions thereon, for looping around a portion of the bedframe structure and attaching back to itself.

[0032] It is a further object of the invention to provide a preferred embodiment restraint including a D-ring or the like extending from the button and clasp fastener attachment end, through which the bed structure attachment end of the strap is passed, drawn taut, and secured back to itself.

[0033] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0034] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0035] FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a bed confined patient being restrained by a bedsheet secured by a series of restraints for bed covers according to the present invention.

[0036] FIG. 2 is a detailed perspective view of a single one of the restraints for bed covers illustrated in FIG. 1, comprising a first embodiment of the present invention.

[0037] FIG. 3 is a detailed perspective view of a second embodiment of a single restraint for bed covers of the present invention.

[0038] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0039] The present invention comprises two embodiments of a restraint for bed covers, which serves to secure the bed covers (sheet, etc.) laterally across the bed, to the bedframe rails or other bed structure along each side of the bed. FIG. 1 of the drawings illustrates the installation of a series of first embodiment restraints 10, secured through a series of passages P along the left rail R of the frame of the bed B. Alternatively, the restraints 10 may be secured around the rail R or other bedframe structure, as desired. (It will be understood that while only the left side of the bed B is illustrated, that the present restraints 10 are arranged symmetrically along each side of the bed B, to provide the desired lateral restraint of a bedsheet S or other covering therebetween.)

[0040] The present restraints 10 pull the sheet S or other covering, tautly across a patient within the bed B, thereby restraining a restless or confused patient and the patient's arms, preventing the patient from accessing or removing IV tubes, dressings, catheters, etc. Alternatively, the patient's arms may be placed outside the sheet S, to prevent the patient from accessing medical treatment beneath the sheet S. It will also be noted in FIG. 1, that one of the present restraints 10 is used to support an IV bag I or the like, from a support T. The restraint 10 holding the IV bag I is inverted relative to the restraints 10 installed along the edge of the bedsheet S, with its retaining loop portion passing upwardly over the hook H portion of the support T. However, the structure of the restraint 10 holding the IV bag I is the same as that of the restraints 10 securing the bedsheet S.

[0041] FIG. 2 of the drawings provides a detailed perspective view of a first embodiment restraint 10, showing its various features. The primary component of the restraint 10 is a relatively short, flat, and flexible strap 12, preferably formed of a woven fabric elastic material to provide the desired stretch and “give” to the device and to the sheet S restrained thereby. The strap 12 has a bedframe structure contact surface 14, which is in contact with the bed rail R or other frame component when the strap 10 is secured thereto, and an opposite non-contact surface 16, disposed away from the bedframe structure when the restraint 10 is secured thereto. It will be seen that the present restraint 10 does not interconnect with any other restraints, and is devoid of any lateral extensions.

[0042] The strap 12 includes a bed cover attachment end 18. A bed cover attachment clasp assembly 20 extends from the cover attachment end 18 of the strap 12, and is secured thereto by a loop 22 formed in the end 18 of the strap 12. The strap 12 further includes a strap self-attachment end 24 opposite the bed cover attachment end 18 thereof. A bed structure attachment or enclosure portion 26 is disposed along the strap 12, generally between the bed cover attachment end 18 and the strap self-attachment end 24 thereof, with this generally medial portion 26 actually contacting or encircling/enclosing a portion of the bedframe rail R or other bedframe structure therein.

[0043] A first portion 28 of hook and loop fabric fastener material is installed upon the non-contact surface 16 of the strap 12, generally medially therealong, i.e., in the area of the bed structure attachment portion 26 of the strap 12, or perhaps slightly toward the self-attachment end 24 of the strap 12. A second portion 30 of hook and loop fastener material is installed upon the non-contact surface 16 of the strap 12, along the portion of the strap 12 adjacent the self-contact end 24 of the strap 12. The hook and loop fastener material portions 28 and 30 may comprise Velcro®, or other similar suitable material as desired, with the first portion 28 of the material comprising loop material, and the second portion 30 comprising hook material which matingly and removably engages with the loop material, as is known in the art.

[0044] The sheet attachment clasp loop 22 also serves to capture a cinch ring 32 installed therein, with the ring 32 installed to face the bedframe contact surface 14 of the strap 12. After securing the sheet attachment clasp assembly 20 to the sheet S, the free or self-attachment end 24 of the strap 12 is passed around or through the bedframe structure or rail R, inserted through the cinch ring 32, and pulled taut and secured back to itself by engaging the two mating hook and loop fastener portions 28 and 30 with one another. The cinch ring 32 greatly facilitates installation of the present restraint to a bedframe rail R or other structure, permitting the installer to do so using only one hand. The cinch ring 32 is preferably in the form of a D-ring, and is preferably formed of a non-metallic material (e.g., a sturdy Nylon or other plastic material, etc.) in order to preclude any generation of sparks for greater safety in an oxygen rich environment, as is often encountered in medical treatment facilities.

[0045] The bed cover attachment clasp 20 extending from the bed cover attachment end 18 of the strap 12, generally comprises a garter-type fastener which captures the sheet S or other cover between the two matingly engaging components. Such fasteners 20 include a loop 34 with an eye 36 and an elongated neck 38 extending therefrom, and a mating resilient button 40 captured on a flexible tab 42 extending from the base of the loop 34. The button 40 has a narrow shank (not shown), which fits within the narrow neck 38 of the loop 34. Preferably, the loop 34 is formed of a non-metallic material, for greater safety in an oxygen rich environment.

[0046] FIG. 3 provides a detailed perspective view of a second embodiment restraint 110. The restraint 110 structure is similar to that of the restraint 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2, but differs in the placement of hook and loop fasteners thereon and deletion of the D-ring therefrom. The primary component of the restraint 110 is a relatively short, flat, and flexible strap 112, preferably formed of a woven fabric elastic material to provide the desired stretch and “give” to the device and to the sheet S restrained thereby. The strap 112 has a bedframe structure contact surface 114, which is in contact with the bed rail R or other frame component when the strap 110 is secured thereto, and an opposite non-contact surface 116, disposed away from the bedframe structure when the restraint 110 is secured thereto. The restraint 110 is also devoid of any interconnections or lateral extensions, as in the case of the first embodiment restraint 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2, discussed further above.

[0047] The strap 112 includes a bed cover attachment end 118. A bed cover attachment clasp assembly 120 extends from the cover attachment end 118 of the strap 112, and is secured thereto by a loop 122 formed in the end 118 of the strap 112. The strap 112 further includes a strap self-attachment end 124 opposite the bed cover attachment end 118 thereof. A bed structure attachment or enclosure portion 126 is disposed along the strap 112, generally between the bed cover attachment end 118 and the strap self-attachment end 124 thereof, with this generally medial portion 126 actually contacting or encircling/enclosing a portion of the bedframe rail R or other bedframe structure therein.

[0048] A first portion 128 of hook and loop fabric fastener material is installed upon the bedframe structure contact or enclosure/encircling surface 114 of the strap 112, extending along the strap surface 114 from a location generally adjacent the bed cover attachment end 118 and cover attachment end loop 122. A second portion 130 of hook and loop fastener material is installed upon the non-contact surface 116 of the strap 112, along the portion of the strap 112 adjacent the self-contact end 124 of the strap 112. The hook and loop fastener material portions 128 and 130 may comprise Velcro®, or other similar suitable material as desired, with the first portion 128 of the material comprising loop material, and the second portion 130 comprising hook material which matingly and removably engages with the loop material, as is known in the art.

[0049] The bed cover restraint 110 of FIG. 3 differs from the restraint 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2, in that the arrangement of the hook and loop material 128 and 130 results in a relatively large medial strap area 132 devoid of hook and loop fastener material, disposed between the first and second portions 128 and 130 of hook and loop fastener material. As the hook and loop material 128 and 130 is substantially non-elastic, the medial strap area 132 provides the desired stretch and “give” for the strap 112. The restraint 110 of FIG. 3 also differs from the restraint 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2 in that there is no cinch ring installed within the bed cover attachment clasp loop 122; only the bed cover attachment clasp 120 is captured by and secured within the clasp loop 122.

[0050] The bed cover attachment clasp 120 extending from the bed cover attachment end 118 of the strap 112 of FIG. 3, is essentially identical to the clasp 20 of the restraint 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2, with minor structural variations permissible so long as the function is not affected. The clasp 120 generally comprises a garter-type fastener which captures the sheet S or other cover between the two matingly engaging components. Such fasteners 120 include a loop 134 with an eye 136 and an elongated neck 138 extending therefrom, and a mating resilient button 140 captured on a flexible tab 142 extending from the base of the loop 134. The button 140 has a narrow shank (not shown), which fits within the narrow neck 138 of the loop 134. Preferably, the loop 134 is formed of a non-metallic material, for greater safety in an oxygen rich environment.

[0051] Installation of the restraint 110 of FIG. 3, differs somewhat from the procedure used to install the restraint 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2. The process begins in both cases by securing the bed cover attachment clasp 20 or 120 to the sheet(s) S and/or other covers, by capturing the sheet(s) S between the loop 134 and button 140, with the cover attachment loop 134 to the outside of the covering. Next, the free or self-attachment end 124 of the strap 112 is passed around the bed structure, e.g., frame rail R, or through a passage P therein and pulled upwardly, with the two mating hook and loop fastener portions 128 and 130 pressed together to engage with one another.

[0052] In conclusion, the present restraint for bed covers in either of its embodiments, provides a much needed means for nurses, orderlies, and other medical professionals, to easily secure a bedsheet or other cover laterally across a bed, to restrain a restless or confused patient therein. The present restraints assure that the bedsheets and/or covers remain in place, thus protecting the privacy and dignity of the patient. Yet, the elastic nature of the strap material, provides some “give” to the bed covers, allowing the patient to change positions and move about to a certain extent, and avoiding extreme pressures upon the patient which could result in abrasion, ulceration (bedsores), etc. However, the restraining forces are sufficient to hold the arms of a confused or restless patient beneath the sheets as desired, in order to preclude removal of medical treatment (catheters, IV tubes, bandages and dressings, etc.) by the patient. Alternatively, the patient's arms may be placed outside of the sheets and covers, in order to prevent the patient from reaching beneath the covers to access any medical treatments applied.

[0053] While both of the embodiments of the present invention work well to provide the above benefits, the primary embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2 will be found to facilitate the installation of the device by a single person. The medical professional need only clasp the sheet(s), covers, etc. in the sheet or cover attachment clasp, pass the free end of the strap through or around the bedframe structure and through the D-ring of the restraint, then draw the free end back down and secure it to the mating fastener material. This is easily accomplished with one hand, leaving the other hand free to assist in controlling the patient, or for other purposes as required. Accordingly, the present restraint for bed covers will prove to be a much appreciated article of equipment for medical professionals of all types, and will serve to greatly facilitate certain aspects of patient care.

[0054] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.





 
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