Title:
Reversible orthopedic memory foam pillow
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An orthopedic therapeutic memory foam pillow has upper and lower sections made of memory foam. The pillow is crescent shaped and has a quarter-round cutout in the normally bottom section in the crescent to accommodate a patient's head. In between the upper and lower memory foam sections is an irregularly shaped firmer foam section. This central firmer foam is thicker above the cutout and is narrower towards the rear curvature of the crescent. The pillow is reversible and can be used with the quarter-round cutout facing upwards or turning the pillow so that the flat surface is upwards. The head can be placed on either the thicker end of the pillow or on the thinner end of the pillow and on either side of the pillow.



Inventors:
Mollett, Nancy L. (Greenville, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/283421
Publication Date:
03/30/2006
Filing Date:
11/17/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G9/00; A47G9/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SPAHN, GAY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NANCY L. MOLLETT (GREENVILLE, IL, US)
Claims:
Having fully disclosed my device, I claim:

1. An orthopedic pillow for a patient's head and neck, comprising: (1) a reversible head and neck support pillow having an essentially crescent shaped outer perimeter with a front and a rear, comprising normally top and normally bottom sections having essentially crescent shaped essentially identical outer perimeters, said top and bottom sections made of memory foam; (2) an inner, high-density foam section, having an essentially crescent shaped outer perimeter, located between the top and bottom sections, wherein said inner section is thicker near the front of said pillow and thinner near the rear of said pillow, whereby said inner high-density section tapers downwardly from the front to the back of said pillow; wherein said pillow has a quarter-round cutout section cut from the lower surface of said normally bottom section adapted to receive a patient's head and neck; wherein a patient's head and neck can be supported by either the top or bottom section of said reversible pillow.

2. An orthopedic pillow for a patient's head and neck as in claim 1, wherein the thicker, inner section of said pillow is approximately two and one-half inches thick near the front of said pillow and approximately one-half inch thick near the rear of said pillow.

3. An orthopedic pillow for a patient's head and neck as in claim 1, wherein said cutout section is in the shape of a quarter-round adapted to receive a patient's head and neck and is approximately seven and a half inches long and has a depth of approximately one inch.

4. A therapeutic pillow for a patient's head and neck as in claim 3, wherein said cutout section is located below the thicker front part of said inner high-density foam section.

5. An orthopedic pillow for a patient's head and neck, as in claim 1, wherein said normally bottom section having said cutout may be used to receive a patient's head and neck and wherein said pillow may be reversed so that the smooth upper surface of said normally top section may also be used to receive a patient's head and neck.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of orthopedic therapeutic devices for injured or otherwise infirmed persons. In particular, an orthopedic pillow having memory foam for persons with head or neck injuries is presented.

In the hospital and rehabilitation fields, there is often a need for devices to make an injured or infirm person more comfortable as they recover from their injury or illness. Such devices include specialized pillows for cushioning or supporting the patient's head in a particular position. These devices often use memory foam or cushioned layers and can take many shapes. These therapeutic pillows also find a ready and needed use in the home for these patients.

One such pillow is found in the 2001 patent issued to Walpin, U.S. Pat. No. 6,317,908. Walpin disclosed a support pillow device that has a firm core, a recess located on the top surface of the core, a memory foam layer located within the recess, a cushion layer located along the top surface and a C-shaped boundary layer. All of these different layers and recesses of Walpin contributed to the comfort of the person using the support device. The Walpin device also included inflatable bladders for added personalization of the shape and firmness of the pillow.

Unlike most polyurethane foams, viscoelastic memory foams are designed to adapt to the shape or form of the users head as the person lies on the pillow. Various combinations and shapes of memory foams and other types of cushioning have been used in the industry. Some foam is firmer than others and some foams have different hardnesses. It is an object of this invention to utilize two different specialized types of foam to provide a suitable pillow for a person with an injured head or neck.

Another object of this invention is to provide a suitable pillow using two layers of memory foam combined with high-density layer foam to provide firm, contoured support for patients with neck injuries. A unique moon shaped design also provides firm support and comfortable resting for a user, while maintaining the shape of the individual user. It is yet another object of this invention to provide an orthopedic therapeutic pillow that has a memorized shape designed to conform to the general shape of the user's anatomy. Other and further objects of this invention will become apparent upon reading the below described Specifications.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A partial moon-shaped pillow is presented having upper and lower sections made of memory foam. In between these upper and lower sections is a central section of high-density foam. A cutout is provided near the front lower curvature of the pillow made from memory foam. The pillow depth tapers towards the rear and the central high-density section becomes smaller. The pillow is reversible and can be used with either the top or bottom surface facing upwards from the bed as desired.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is perspective view of the device with the bottom head-neck cutout section shown facing upwards.

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the therapeutic pillow showing the bottom head-neck cutout section facing upwards.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the pillow shown with top section of FIG. 1 facing upwards.

FIG. 4 is a side sectional view of the pillow taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 2 with the normally bottom section facing downwards.

FIG. 5 is a front view of the pillow shown positioned as in FIG. 3, with the cutout on the bottom.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERED EMBODIMENT

A therapeutic memory foam pillow is best shown in FIG. 1. Generally, the pillow disclosed is a crescent shaped pillow having upper and lower memory foam sections and a central high-density section that is irregularly shaped as shown in FIG. 4. Above a front quarter-round cutout 4 is a thicker high-density section 5 that tapers to a thinner high-density section 6 towards the rear 14 of the pillow.

The pillow is approximately twenty-two inches long, from end to end and approximately 11 inches wide from front 13 to rear 14. The pillow tapers from approximately 5½ inches in the front to about 3½ inches in the rear. The pillow also has an approximately two (2) inch semi-circular cavity as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. This two (2) inch semi-circular cavit imparts the pillow a crescent moon shape, as best shown in Drawing FIGS. 1 through 3.

The therapeutic pillow has two types of cushioning. A normally bottom section 1 (FIG. 3) is made of 5.3 viscoelastic memory foam. The term “5.3” means that Latex rubber foam is measured in terms of pounds/cubic foot. “5.3” memory foam weighs 5.3 pounds per cubic foot. This term is described in the literature, for example at the FOAM.com website. This layer of memory foam is approximately one and one-half inches thick. A normally top section 2 (FIG. 3) of the pillow comprises a 5.3-memory foam section that is also one and one-half inches thick. The normally bottom section 1 and the normally top section 2 memory foam layers have essentially crescent shaped essentially identical outer perimeters. The presence of the cutout 4 does not vary the essential shape of the outer perimeter.

In between the lower bottom 1 and upper top 2 sections of the pillow is a high-density section 3 made of 2.111 high-density foam. High-density foam is measured in terms of foam type. Typically, the first two numbers of the designation represent the density and the second two digits represent the IFD. IFD is the indentation force deflection. 2.111 high-density foam means that a cubic foot of the foam weighs 2.1 pounds and that it takes 35 pounds of pressure to compress of this foam to 25% of its original height.

The high-density section 3 has an essentially crescent shaped outer perimeter that is identical to the crescent shaped outer perimeter of the lower bottom 1 and upper top 2 sections. The high-density layer 3 is approximately two and one half inches thick near the front 13 of the pillow and tapers to about one-half inch towards the rear 14 of the pillow. These thicknesses are best shown on FIG. 5. The shoulders 7 of the pillow are rounded as shown in FIG. 5.

The types of foam (5.3 memory foam and 2.111 high-density foam) are well known throughout the industry.

The normally bottom section 1 of the therapeutic pillow has a head-neck quarter-round cutout section 4 on its lower surface. This quarter-round cutout section is designed to make the back of the user's head and neck more comfortable when the bottom section 1 is supporting the user's head and neck. This cutout section 4 is approximately seven and a half inches long and has a depth of approximately 1 inch. The width of the cutout section from the front edge 12 of the cutout to the rear apex 11 is approximately eight inches. It is to be understood that the dimensions herein are meant as an illustration of the preferred embodiment only and not as a specific limitation. Minor variations of all of the dimensions recited herein are still within the disclosure of this invention.

The upper surface 10 of normally top section 2 of the pillow is smooth, since it does not have a cutout. Since the bottom surface 1 of the pillow has a cutout and the top surface 1 does not, the pillow is reversible. This reversibility allows the pillow to be utilized in different manners and for different applications. The exact applications of the pillow may be determined by the patient depending on the patient's comfort and to meet the varying desires of the patient.

In between the normally bottom 1 and normally top 2 memory foam sections is a high-density section 3, as best shown in FIG. 4. In the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the high-density section 3 comprises an irregularly shaped front high-density area 5 that is located approximately above the cutout section 4. A rear high-density foam area 6 is narrower than the front high-density area 5 as shown in FIG. 4. The irregular shape of the high-density areas 5 and 6 creates a central inner high-density slope 8. This inner slope 8 has a corresponding top section 2 outer slope 9 in the embodiment as shown in FIG. 4.

The slope 8 of the high-density area is approximately a 1 to 1, or a 45-degree slope. The high-density central section 3 has a maximum thickness near the front of the pillow 13 that is approximately two and one half inches. The width of the thicker section (from the front of the pillow 13 to the slope 8) of the front high-density area 5 is approximately 4 inches. The vertical thickness of the high-density area is approximately two and a half inches at its maximum.

The thickness of the rear high-density foam section 6, near the rear end 14 of the pillow, is approximately one-half inch. This rear area 6 is approximately 7 inches in width (from the slope 8 to the rear 14 of the pillow).

It is to be appreciated that these measurements are meant as an illustration only and are not to be taken as a strict limitations on the scope of this disclosure. Obviously, differing slopes and dimensions of the foam sections and the high-density sections are still within the keeping and spirit of this invention. Similarly, the exact dimensions of the quarter-round cutout are meant as a means of illustration only and not as a limitation.

The preferred embodiment method of use is shown particularly in FIGS. 3 and 5. Using the pillow support in this orientation the pillow would place the quarter-round cutout 4 on the bottom of the pillow next to the bed. The patient would then lay on his side and place his head and neck on the flat surface of normally top section 2 to obtain the needed support. The pillow can also be reversed so that the cutout is on the top, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. It is anticipated that a patient may use either the front cutout high density section 5 to support the head (when section 1 is upwards as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2) or could place his head on the back high density area 6. Reversing the pillow and changing the part used to support the head and neck offers a versatile selection of positions and firmnesses.

Utilizing memory foam on both the top and bottom of the pillow and thicker and firmer foam in the middle, the pillow can be highly effective for use with a patient with a head or neck injury. The memory feature, as well as the location of the cutout, the varied thickness of the firmer layer and the reversible nature of the device enhances the usefulness and utility of orthopedic therapeutic pillows. The pillow may be covered with satin covers or any other type of pillowcase in order to facilitate cleaning or for aesthetic reasons.

Obviously, the exact dimensions given herein are meant as a means of illustration only. However, it has been found that after much experimentation that the approximate dimensions given create the preferred embodiment of this invention.





 
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