Title:
Undergarment for traction patients
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An undergarment having releasable and reattachable side seams for use by immobile or bedridden patients. The edges of the side seams are reinforced by twill tape and are released and reattached by a series of spaced apart snaps secured along the twill tape.



Inventors:
Stanley, Tracy L. (Lenexa, KS, US)
Application Number:
10/902193
Publication Date:
02/02/2006
Filing Date:
07/29/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B9/00
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Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Chase Law Firm (Leawood, KS, US)
Claims:
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is as follows:

1. Underwear for immobilized patients, comprising: front and rear waist panels; side seams extending longitudinally along side edges of said front and rear waist panels; and resecuring means for selectively securing, separating or resecuring said side seams extending along said side seams.

2. Underwear as claimed in claim 1 wherein said resecuring means includes snaps spaced apart along said side seams.

3. Underwear as claimed in claim 1 wherein said resecuring means includes Velcro secured along said side seams.

4. Underwear as claimed in claim 1 wherein said resecuring means includes a zipper secured along said side seams.

5. Underwear as claimed in claim 1 wherein said resecuring means includes cloth adhesive tape secured along said side seams.

6. Underwear as claimed in claim 1 further comprising reinforcing means secured along said side seams, said resecuring means being secured to said reinforcers means.

7. Underwear as claimed in claim 6 wherein said reinforcing means includes twill tape.

8. Underwear as claimed in claim 6 wherein said reinforcing means includes hem facing.

9. Underwear as claimed in claim 6 wherein said reinforcing means includes fabric tape.

10. Underwear as claimed in claim 6 wherein said reinforcing means includes a second fabric layer.

11. Underwear as claimed in claim 6 wherein said resecuring means includes snaps spaced apart along said side seams.

12. Underwear for immobilized patients, comprising: front and rear waist panels; side seams extending longitudinally along side edges of said front and rear waist panels; reinforcing members secured along said side seams; and a resecuring member extending along each said reinforcing member, for selectively securing separating or resecuring said side seams.

13. Underwear as claimed in claim 12 wherein said reinforcing members include twill tape and said resecuring members include snaps.

14. Underwear for immobilized patients comprising: front and rear waist panels; side seams extending longitudinally along side edges of said front and rear waist panels; and snaps spaced apart along said side seams for selectively securing, separating or resecuring said side seams.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to underwear to be worn by an immobile or bedridden patient, and more specifically to reusable underwear for traction patients.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Typically, traction patients are immobilized in unflattering positions and may be allowed to wear only a conventional hospital gown. Conventional underwear cannot generally be worn. These patients must remain immobile and in certain positions which makes putting underwear on and off virtually impossible. Diapers are also undesirable. They are undignified, especially for older children and teenagers and adults. Furthermore, except for cloth diapers, they are not reusable and are environmentally unfriendly. An alternative type of underwear for traction patients or other immobilized patients is desirable.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental view showing a traction patient wearing underwear in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the underwear of FIG. 1 showing the snappable side seams;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the underwear of FIG. 1 with the right side seam snapped closed and showing the left snappable side seam;

FIG. 4 is a front elevation of another embodiment of the underwear in accordance with the present invention, showing the side seams unsnapped;

FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of the underwear of FIG. 4, with the side seams snapped closed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, the traction underwear 10 of the present invention are shown in place on a traction patient 12. The traction underwear 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 are conventional boys or mens underwear commonly referred to as “boxer” shorts, and the traction underwear 10a illustrated in FIGS. 4-5 are conventional girls or womens underwear. However, traction underwear 10 and 10a are improved for use by traction patients or other children and adults that are immobile or bedridden for any reason.

The boxer shorts 10 of FIGS. 1-3 have two sections, the front and rear bodies or waist panels 20 and 22, joined together to define a waist opening 24 and a pair of leg openings 26. At the waist opening 24 elastic waist band 28 is provided which is secured in an elastically contracted condition.

The front and rear waist panels 20 and 22 are each divided into first and second waist regions 32 and 34 along a longitudinal center seam line 36 extending in the longitudinal direction to bisect a transverse dimension of the underwear 10. The first and second waist regions 32 and 34 are secured together along the seam line 36 by stitching.

The underwear 10a of FIGS. 4-5 are very similar to those of FIGS. 1-3. Therefore, only the differences will be discussed in detail. The front and rear waist panels 20 and 22 are unitary and do not include first and second waist regions 32 and 34. Accordingly, the underwear 10a also does not have a center seam line 36.

In addition to the front and rear waist panels 20 and 22, underwear 10a includes a crotch panel 30 secured to the front and rear waist panels 20 and 22 between the leg openings 26 along transverse seam lines 38 and 40. The front and rear waist panels 20 and 22 and the crotch panel 30 are secured together along the seam lines 38 and 40 by stitching.

Underwear 10 and 10a both include side seam lines 50 which extend in the longitudinal direction along the side edges 52 and 54 of the front and rear waist panels 20 and 22. The side seam lines 50 are reinforced with twill tape 58 that is secured by stitching along the inner surface at the side edge 52 of the front waist panel 20 and along the outer surface at the side edge 54 of the rear waist panel 22. The seam lines 50 may also be reinforced by stitching a second layer of the underwear fabric along the seam lines 50. Specifically, the fabric along the edges of the waist panels 20 and 22 can be folded over and stitched to the corresponding waist panel 20 or 22 to reinforce the seam lines 50. At side seam lines 50, the front and rear waist panels 20 and 22 are joined together by spaced apart snaps 60 extending the length of the twill tape 58, to present snappable side seams.

The snaps 60 are conventional. They each have a disc shaped snap member 62 which snaps into its corresponding disc shaped snap fastener 64. A series of snap members 62 are secured along the reinforced outer-surface of the side edges of the front waist panel 20 with the corresponding snap fasteners 64 aligned opposite therefrom along the inner surface of the rear waist panel's side edge 54. The twill tape 58 and snaps 60 are thereby hidden from view when the snap members 62 and snap fasteners 64 are secured together.

Instead of snaps, seam lines 50 could alternatively be secured by Velcro® (hook and loop fasteners), zippers, cloth adhesive tape or other suitable reusable adhesive. Also, other types of seam line reinforcement may be used, such as hem facing, seam binding, hem tape or biasing tape.

Seam lines 50 thereby present seams that can be separated or ripped apart for quick and easy removal of the underwear 10 and 10a from the traction patient 12. The underwear 10 and 10a, however, is durable, washable and reusable. Seam lines 50 can easily be resecured for reuse by the patient 12. Furthermore, the underwear 10 and 10a are comfortable and help immobilized patients maintain their dignity when forced to lay still in unflattering positions. The underwear 10 and 10a are also very durable and can withstand heavy laundering.

It is to be understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable equivalents thereof.