Title:
Recovery garment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The patient recovery garment comprises a body portion defining an opening, positioned, configured and dimensioned to allow the performance of medical treatment procedures, and a closure device suitable for closing the opening when a procedure is not being performed. The recovery garment comprises of a warm material, a decorative pattern, or both.



Inventors:
Mcgrath, Catherine E. (North Andover, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/333382
Publication Date:
07/20/2006
Filing Date:
01/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D10/00; A61B46/27
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
K&L Gates LLP - New York (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A patient recovery garment, comprising: (i) a waist portion deriving from or connected to a lower torso portion, with said waist and torso portions being positioned, configured, and dimensioned to fit a human; (ii) a leg portion deriving from or connected to said lower torso portion, said leg portion being positioned, configured, and dimensioned to fit the legs of said human; (iii) at least one closeable opening positioned, configured, and dimensioned to facilitate the examination of the patient's legs, crotch, posterior, and lower torso, and (iv) closure devices suitable for closing said closeable opening.

2. A patient recovery garment as in claim 1, wherein said closeable opening is comprised of a set of closeable openings disposed along the outseam of each of said leg portions from the bottom of said leg portions and continuing up said leg portions and said torso portion to a point close to the bottom of said waist portion.

3. A patient recovery garment as in claim 1, wherein said closeable opening is comprised of a set of closeable opening disposed along each inseam of said leg portions from a point beginning roughly mid-way between the mid-point of said leg portion and the crotch of said recovery pant garment and ending at a point close to the bottom of the front of said waist portion.

4. A patient recovery garment as in claim 1, further comprising a pocket disposed on the interior of said leg portion at a point mid-way between the mid-point of one side of said leg portion and the bottom of said side of said leg portion, said pocket being positioned, configured, and dimensioned to accommodate a catheter bag.

5. A patient recovery garment as in claim 1, further comprising a pocket disposed on the interior of said lower torso portion at a point below said waist portion and at a point mid-way between the front of said waist portion and an outseam of said leg and torso portion, said pocket being positioned, configured, and dimensioned to accommodate a post-surgery pouch or urostomy bag.

6. A patient recovery garment as in claim 1, wherein said closure devices are comprised of a plurality of non-metallic fasteners.

7. A patient recovery garment, comprising a body portion defining at least one closeable opening positioned, configured, and dimensioned to facilitate the examination of the patient's arms and upper torso, said body portion defining a neck receiving opening at one end, a bottom edge at the other end, and a pair of sleeves in between, and a plurality of closure devices suitable for closing said closeable openings.

8. A patient recovery garment as in claim 7, wherein said closeable opening comprises a set of closeable opening disposed along each arm of the garment.

9. A patient recovery garment as in claim 7, wherein said closeable opening comprises a set of closeable openings disposed along the outer seams of the garment.

10. A patient recovery garment as in claim 7, wherein said closeable opening is disposed along the front of said garment.

11. A patient recovery garment as in claim 7, wherein said closeable opening is disposed along the back of said garment.

12. A patient recovery garment as in claim 7, further comprising an inner pocket disposed proximate to said bottom edge.

13. A patient recovery garment as in claim 7, further comprising an outer pocket disposed on the front portion of the garment.

14. A patient recovery garment as in claim 7, wherein said closure devices are comprised of a plurality of non-metallic fasteners.

15. A patient recovery suit comprising the patient recovery garment of claim 1 and the patient recovery garment of claim 9.

16. A patient recovery garment, comprising (i) a unitary piece of fabric positioned, configured, and dimensioned to fit around a human torso beginning at or about a point below the armpits and ending at or about a point near the waist; and (ii) at least one support means running over at least one shoulder of the user from the back of said recovery garment to the front of said recovery garment.

17. A patient recovery garment as in claim 16, wherein the effective length of said support means is adjustable.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/644,771 filed Jan. 18, 2005, confirmation number 5870, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference thereto.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

(Not applicable).

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a patient recovery garment designed with the objective of improving patient comfort and increasing the likelihood of a successful treatment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people, for example, most of them men, are diagnosed with prostate cancer. The diagnosis can often be, initially at least, devastating to the patient. These issues are of neither superficial nor passing concern. To the contrary, it has been demonstrated that patient attitudes and outlooks have a direct bearing on recovery.

Notwithstanding the above, the medical system functions in the same manner as the most mundane deliverers of goods and services. Patients are all too often queued in long lines, sometimes waiting for hours for a five or ten minute visit with the doctor, or to receive treatment. Very often, radiation treatment is dispensed in basement facilities. These facilities are usually kept relatively cool to discourage the spread of germs.

Patients are forced to wait in line wearing a flimsy low-quality garment sometimes referred to as a standard hospital garment “johnny”. The garment is of simple design, comprising a front portion, a pair of sleeves, and a pair of complementary rear left and right side portions, which may be tied to each other by ribbon-like ties. Tying the ties does not close the garment well, allowing chilly breezes to cause discomfort and not remotely providing any privacy. The “johnny” has an appearance which is plain and drab. It is embarrassingly open in the back.

As noted above, the “johnny” is open and because of the flimsy material of which it is made, the johnny provides for little protection from the cold. This is particularly serious because, during the treatment and recovery from prostate cancer, the patient is in a weakened state and is particularly susceptible to chills, which are both uncomfortable and can affect the health.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In addition to the physical discomforts noted above, important and potentially serious psychological factors come into the picture. As soon as a person is diagnosed with a serious illness, there is a serious danger that he feels, to a certain extent, diminished. In addition to the fear of the uncertain, the health system imposes on the patient a depersonalized, uncomfortable, and debasing experience. Patients are gathered together in drab, flimsy, cold, exposing, and depersonalizing “johnny” uniforms. These garments, far from flattering the appearance of the wearers, make the wearers look weak and sick. The garments are also identified with people who are ill. The effect is immediate and the impact felt on all who visit the patient. Human nature being what it is, the looks most likely to be seen by the patient on the faces of visitors do nothing but have an adverse impact on the patient's spirit. This, in addition to causing pain and discomfort to the patient, cannot help but be reflected unfavorably in the prospects for the success of treatment.

In essence, the patient fearing a loss of attractiveness is put in an unattractive garment which is plain and unflattering and which portrays one in a debasing, exposed, and weak-appearing way. In addition to this, the garment is depersonalizing, being commonly used by many individuals.

The difficulties encountered by the patient in the above circumstances are compounded by serious additional chores and organizational tasks. Medications must be taken regularly. Treatment often results in sores which must be treated. Catheter bags must be maintained. During postoperative periods, the patient may be connected to catheter bags 24 hours a day, and must sleep in a relatively restricted position. If the patient rolls over while sleeping, the arrangement may be disrupted.

In accordance with the invention, a recovery garment is provided and comprises pants made of a warm material, for instance cotton, flannel, or fleece, having slits along the outer seam of the leg and closure devices for opening and closing the garment and a pocket inside along one leg of the garment for holding catheter bags. The garment may include a second interior pocket near the waistband for holding post-surgical pouches or urostomy bags. The crotch portion of the garment may have an opening which may be positioned, configured and dimensioned to allow the performance of a prostate cancer treatment procedure, a medical examination or other medical testing. The outer seam leg opening of the garment runs from the waist down each outer leg seam. It is secured by non-metallic snaps, buttons, hook-and-loop material, or other closure devices. On one leg inside of the garment is a pocket that holds and conceals items such as catheter bags. The material of the garment may have a decorative pattern.

In another aspect of the present invention, a recovery shirt is described and comprises a shirt made of warm material, for instance cotton, flannel, or fleece, having hook-and-loop fasteners instead of sewn seams along the arms of the garment as well as along the sides. The hook-and-loop fasteners permit ready access to many areas of the arms, back, and torso that frequently require close attention by medical personnel.

A further aspect of the present invention is a sleeveless garment that comprises a fabric portion that covers the user's torso and shoulder straps that hold the torso portion in place. The fabric portion is made of warm material, for instance cotton, flannel, or fleece, and is closed by way of buttons or hook-and-loop fasteners, and the shoulder straps are held in place by buttons, snaps, or hook-and-loop fasteners.

While the invention has been described with reference to prostate cancer, it should be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that it can be used in other cases as well, particularly where the patient is being treated for a condition that requires attention to the area of the lower abdomen, groin, or upper thighs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The operation of the invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of the pants;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the pants;

FIG. 3 is an alternate embodiment of the present invention showing a front view of the pant with the additional hook-and-loop fasteners on the inseam.

FIG. 4 is a front view of the shirt;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the sleeveless shirt.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE BEST MODE

Referring to FIG. 1, in accordance with the present invention, a garment particularly adapted for the treatment of prostate cancer is provided. Garment 10 comprises a front panel 12 and a rear panel 14.

Front panel 12 and rear panel 14 are each connected to waistband 16. Waistband 16 is preferably an elastic waistband but may be non-elastic as well. Waistband 16 may include a drawstring 18, the purpose of which is to further secure the pants about the user's waist.

Front panel 12 and rear panel 14 are attached together at sewn inseam 19. Left front panel 12 is further attached to back panel 14 at the outseam 23 by hook and loop fastener 20. Hook and loop fastener 20 may comprise a single hook section and a corresponding single loop section running essentially the entire length of outseam 20.

Alternatively, hook and loop fastener 20 may comprise a plurality of shorter, spaced corresponding hook-and-loop sections that together run along the length of outseam 23 and serve to close the outseam 23.

Hook and loop fastener 20 permits ready access to the patient's lower torso and upper legs, permitting the patient to be examined without requiring the patient either to remove his pants or to have to wear the uncomfortable “johnny” gown with no pants whatsoever.

In addition, a first interior pocket 22 is located inside at least one of the pant legs, adjacent to the patient's inner thigh. The first interior pocket 22 is sized so that it can easily accommodate things such as catheter bags. The first interior pocket 22 thus permits the patient to carry with him any such bags to which he is connected. This greatly increases the mobility of the patient, enhancing his feeling of independence and well being.

A second interior pocket 25 is located inside at least one of the pant legs, in the front of the garment near the waistband. The second interior pocket 25 is sized so that it can easily accommodate a post-surgery pouch or urostomy bag.

Referring to FIG. 2, in accordance with the invention, the right leg of the recovery pant is depicted in the “open” or “access” position.

The hook-and-loop fasteners 20 are depicted as a plurality of spaced hook-and-loop sections running along the garment's outseam 23. The first interior pocket 22 is shown, spanning front panel 12 and rear panel 14 across inseam 19.

One important aspect of the present invention is the complete lack of metal in the garment. Because metal can interfere with certain diagnostic and curative treatments, the recovery garment is specifically designed to have no metal in it. This increases the chances that the patient will be able to undergo treatment without having to remove the garment.

Referring to FIG. 3, in accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention, a set of inseam hook-and-loop fasteners 24 may be included in the recovery pant to increase the access to the patient's lower abdomen and crotch.

As is understood from the above, garment 10 is attractive, giving the patient a more attractive and less upsetting appearance to the patient himself and to others around the patient, such as the patient's family. The reaction when they see the patient is thus more positive instead of the grave and sad faces that follow presentation of a cancer patient in any typical standard hospital garment. Likewise, the patient feels better about him when he is dressed in a more positive outfit. The end result is a generally more positive outlook for all concerned.

Referring to FIG. 4, in accordance with the a further embodiment of the present invention, a recovery shirt 40 is shown having a front portion 41 and a rear portion 43. Hook-and-loop fasteners 42 are spaced at intervals along each sleeve 45 from the cuff to the neck. By opening fasteners 42 along sleeve 45, the patient's arms and shoulder can be exposed for ease of access, permitting injections, blood-pressure readings, IV maintenance, and other procedures to be performed without the patient having to remove the garment. Similarly, hook-and-loop fasteners 44 are located along the side seams of the garment, beginning at a point below where the sleeve 45 is sewn to the front 41 and rear 43 portions of the garment and continuing down to the waist. By opening fasteners 44, the patient's torso is readily accessible for purposes of treatment without the patient having to remove the garment.

A small colored tab 46 may be sewn to one side of one of the hook and loop fasteners 42, with a corresponding tab 48 sewn to the corresponding side of the matching fastener 42. By matching tab 46 to tab 48, the patient will thereby match one side of fastener 42 with its proper mate. Similar tabs 47 and 49 may be sewn to a fastener 44 along the side seam as well, to the same effect.

Referring to FIG. 5, in accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention, a sleeveless patient recovery garment 50 is shown, consisting of a torso-covering portion 52 and two shoulder straps 54. In use, the torso-covering portion 52 is wrapped around the patient's torso and is closed using non-metallic buttons 56 or an alternative form of non-metallic fastener such as plastic snaps, hook-and-loop fasteners, or a non-metallic zipper. Shoulder straps 54 are sewn to the back portion of the torso-covering portions 52 and are attached to the front of torso-covering portion 52 by non-metallic buttons 58 or, alternatively, snaps or hook-and-loop fasteners. Shoulder straps 54 may comprise more than one buttonhole 53 so that the garment may be adjusted to fit different-sized patients.

FIG. 5A shows the location of interior sleeve 55, which is sewn to torso-covering portion 52 at its top and bottom, leaving the sides of sleeve 55 open. This configuration when appropriately sized, will keep a post-surgical drain bag in place while allowing easy replacement as the bag fills up. Alternatively, sleeve 55 may be configured as a traditional pocket, with the sides and bottom sewn to torso-covering portion 52 and the top open.

While an illustrative embodiment of the invention has been described, it is understood that various modifications will be obvious to those on ordinary skill in the art. Such modifications are within the spirit and scope of the invention which is limited and defined only by the appended claims.