Title:
Device for securing valuables
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A storage device for securing personal property. The device provides a method that is conducive to a medical or dental setting. The device is further conducive to use as storage during a medical procedure.



Inventors:
Fuller, Mary (San Antonio, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/264661
Publication Date:
07/06/2006
Filing Date:
11/01/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C11/04
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NAMAN, HOWELL, SMITH & LEE (WACO, TX, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A storage device for holding eye glasses in a medical, dental or personal care setting comprising: (a) a front wall member, said front wall member having two faces, the first face being an outer face, and the second face being an inner face, and being comprised of a plastic material (b) a back wall member, said back wall member having an inner and outer face and being attached to said front wall at each side and at its base so as to form a compartment between the inner walls of both wall members, said compartment being sized and shaped for receiving a pair of eyeglasses therein; (c) a suspension apparatus, attached to said compartment, said suspension member configured for mechanical engagement with, and support of said compartment relative to an external apparatus or structure.

2. The invention of claim 1 further comprising indicia revelation means configured for receiving indicia indicative of the owner of the contents of said compartment.

3. The invention of claim 1 wherein at least one of said front wall member and said back wall member are configured of substantially transparent plastic material.

4. The invention of claim 2 wherein said plastic material possesses a melting point of not less than approximately 150° F.

5. The invention of claim 3 wherein said plastic material possesses a melting point of not less than approximately 150° F.

5. The invention of claim 1 further comprising indicia revelation means.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to U.S. provisional application 60/624,437, filed on Nov. 2, 2004, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to a device for securing personal property. More specifically, the present invention relates to storing personal property in a short-term medical or dental setting.

2. Background Information

The security of valuable personal property of patients or customers in the health care or personal care contexts (hospital, clinic, dental, salons, etc.) is an ongoing concern. This is particularly true when, as in the case of medical procedures patients are, for example, anesthetized and cannot speak for the whereabouts and ownership of their valuables. In some cases the term “valuable” may be relative, for instance one man's false teeth may have no economic value to a thief are at the same time invaluable to owner.

Of particular concern is security during the short term procedure, such as day surgery or dental work. Previously, there has been no standard secure location for placement of these personal items. In the medical setting, patients are often placed on a stretcher and transported from one area to another for pre-operative care, the procedure, and post-operative care. Most individuals choose to wear or use the item until shortly before treatment. Many of these individuals are given sedation which renders them unable to care for the item.

The care and handling of patients' personal items has historically varied from facility to facility, but such practices have included placing the item on the stretcher beside the patient, under the stretcher on the shelf, in the patient's shoe, and at times in the sedated patient's hand. The result of this lack of a standard location to protect and secure the property has resulted in damage, loss, and the item being left behind upon discharge.

Previous attempts at creating a method for storing personal items have included cases hung on bedsteads (Popish U.S. Pat. No. 6,761,266). Popish provides a storage container that is attached to the bedstead for use in an in-patient medical or nursing home setting. This fulfills the need for permanent bedside storage, but not the long unfelt need of portable storage for patient specifically during his procedure.

A most frequent need for securing, insuring later location, and identifying the owner of a “valuable” comes in relation to eyeglasses.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing, it is an object of the present invention to provide a standard location for securing and protecting valuable personal property from damage or loss.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a storage device which is easily cleaned and disinfected, water-resistant, and reusable in an institutional or office environment.

In satisfaction of the above, the present invention provides a container for various objects, such as eyeglasses, dentures, etc. that is attachable to various medical equipment including, but not limited to, IV stands, stretchers, and monitoring equipment. The present invention, by way of a novel design and construction, works as a storage device for personal objects in a temporary and mobile medical setting and is easily cleaned to the standards of a hospital setting and is reusable.

By fulfilling its purpose, the invention decreases the risk of damage or loss of the property over placement in random storage locations.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A represents a plan view of the invention. FIG. 1B represents a longitudinal section view of the invention.

FIG. 2A represents a partial plan view of the invention. FIG. 2B represents a horizontal section view of the invention.

FIG. 3 represents a perspective view of the invention as used with eyeglasses.

FIG. 4 represents a perspective view of the invention in use on an IV pole 24 on a medical stretcher 23.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1A, Applicant's invention is represented by the numeral 11 and consists of four main components: a front wall member 19 (as shown in FIG. 2A), a back wall member 20 (as shown in FIG. 2B), an attachment means 14, and a personal identification pocket member 18.

The front 19 and back 20 wall members are responsible for providing the fundamental structure and support for the entire invention. The back wall member additionally receives the article identification indicia 17, although there are circumstances where the front wall member 19 would receive the article identification indicia 17.

The wall members maintain their shape by way of side seams 12 that attach the walls to each other and prevent holes along the side of the device. The wall members may be one long piece of material, or two separate pieces, in which case there would be an additional bottom seam needed. Upon completion of the side seams, the top opening 13 is formed which receives the personal item.

The wall members can be made out of durable, transparent material, for example heavy gauge vinyl, which allows for the contents and identification of the owner to remain visible. However, alternative embodiments may utilize material which is not transparent, such as for keeping the contents of the device concealed. Should the user wish to use a material that is not transparent, but would still wish to label the contents of the device, then the article identification indicia 17 would attach to the front wall member. Additionally, while presently heavy gauge vinyl is a compatible material, any other malleable material may be used which is appropriate for its intended setting. As technology advances and new materials are created, such materials can be used.

The attachment means (or “suspension apparatus”) 14 is responsible for securing the device onto the desired object, such as an IV pole, monitoring equipment, etc. The attachment means can be made from a number of materials, such as cording, rubber, etc. As technology advances and new materials are created, such materials can be used. In the present invention, the attachment means 14 is a rubber-coated cord that works in connection with a cord lock 16. Although a cord and cord lock device is shown, various attachment devices such as buckling systems, zip tie systems, velcro systems, etc.

The attachment means 14 is attached at each end of the device at the attachment points 15. However, depending on the desired use, there may be only one attachment means and consequently only one attachment point.

The contents of a personal identification pocket pocket member 18 (“indicia revelation means”) are responsible for identifying the owner of the object stored in the device. The personal identification pocket member 18 is, in the preferred embodiment, affixed to the back wall 20 of the device. It consists of an opening through which an article (a slip of paper, for example) bearing the name of the owner can be placed and removed for subsequent use. In the present embodiment, pocket 18 is constructed of the same material as the front and back walls 19 and 20.

Other embodiments could include, as indicia revelation means, a rigid plastic structure or another material conducive to holding names in a stable manner and capable of being attached to either wall of the device.

Still further alternative embodiments of the present invention may involve the presence on one or both of the front and side walls 19 and 20 of a writable and re-writable surface (much like a dry-erase board—not shown in the drawings) on which an appropriate indication of ownership and/or other pertinent information may somehow be written.

Although the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, this description is not to be construed in a limited sense. Various modifications of the disclosed embodiments, as well as alternative embodiments of the inventions will become apparent to persons skilled in the art upon the reference to the description of the invention. It is, therefore, contemplated that the appended claims will cover such modifications that fall within the scope of the invention.





 
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