Title:
Temperature therapy garment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A temperature therapy garment applies localized hot or cold temperature therapy to a region of a person's body. The garment includes a main body portion that is formed from a generally breathable, elasticized fabric and encircles and form-fits the torso of the patient body. At least a pair of openings are included to accommodate at least a pair of patient limbs (i.e., legs, or arms, or both). At least one pocket is positioned on an outer face of the garment in alignment with the region of the person's body to receive temperature therapy. A hot or cold temperature therapy pouch fits within the at least one pocket to be held against the person's body. The region of the patient body with which the at least one pocket is aligned may correspond to a region that is subjected to a medical procedure, such as a cosmetic surgical procedure.



Inventors:
Godfrey, Daniel H. (Tigard, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/177875
Publication Date:
01/11/2007
Filing Date:
07/08/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PATEL, TAJASH D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IPSOLON LLP (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
1. A temperature therapy garment for applying localized temperature therapy to a region of a patient body, comprising: a main body portion that is formed from a generally breathable, elasticized fabric and encircles and form-fits the torso of the patient body, at least a pair of openings being included to accommodate at least a pair of patient limbs; at least one pocket that is positioned on an outer face of the garment in alignment with the region of the patient body to receive temperature therapy; and a temperature therapy pouch that fits within the at least one pocket.

2. The temperature therapy garment of claim 1 further comprising a closure for the at least one pocket to secure the temperature therapy pouch within the pocket.

3. The temperature therapy garment of claim 1 further comprising a closable opening to facilitate doning and removal of the garment.

4. The temperature therapy garment of claim 1 in which the region of the patient body with which the at least one pocket is aligned corresponds to a region that is subjected to a medical procedure.

5. The temperature therapy garment of claim 1 in which the region of the patient body with which the at least one pocket is aligned corresponds to a region that is subjected to a cosmetic surgical procedure.

6. The temperature therapy garment of claim 1 in which the temperature therapy pouch may be selective heated or cooled according to whether the localized temperature therapy entails application of heat or cooling to the region of the patient body.

7. A temperature therapy garment for applying localized temperature therapy to a region of a patient body, comprising: a main body portion that is formed from a generally breathable, elasticized fabric and encircles and form-fits the torso of the patient body, at least a pair of openings being included to accommodate at least a pair of patient limbs; plural pockets that are positioned on an outer face of the garment, each pocket being in alignment with a region of the patient body to receive temperature therapy in connection with care following a selected medical procedure; and a temperature therapy pouch that fits within the at least one of the plural pocket.

8. The temperature therapy garment of claim 7 further comprising a closure for each of the plural pockets to secure the temperature therapy pouch therein.

9. A temperature therapy garment for applying localized temperature therapy to a region of a patient body, comprising: a main body portion that is formed from a generally breathable, elasticized fabric and encircles and form-fits the torso of the patient body, at least a pair of openings being included to accommodate at least a pair of patient limbs; at least one pocket that is positioned on an outer face of the garment in alignment with the region of the patient body to receive temperature therapy; a closure with a fastener for the at least one pocket to secure the temperature therapy pouch within the pocket; and a temperature therapy pouch that may be heated or cooled and that fits within the at least one pocket.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a therapeutic garment for applying temperature therapy (i.e., heat or cold) to a region of a person's and, in particular, to such a garment that provides temperature therapy to region following a medical procedure.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Temperature therapy is applied in a wide variety of contexts to reduce injury and to aid in recovery after exertions, injuries, and medical procedures. For example, ice treatment in is most commonly used during the first 48 hours after an acute injury (e.g., ankle sprain) to reduce swelling and associated pain. Likewise, ice treatments are applied to reduce pain and swelling after many surgical procedures. Ice treatment is typically in the form of an ice or frozen pack applied to the surface of an affected body part.

Temperature therapy also includes the application of heat to an affected body parts. Heat treatments are used for chronic conditions to help relax and loosen tissues, and to stimulate blood flow to the area. Heat treatments are also used for on chronic conditions, such as overuse injuries, before participating in activities.

Temperature therapies are commonly provided with heat or ice packs that are held by a patient against the affect body part. In some instances, the heat or ice packs are in the form of gel-filled pouches that may be frozen or heated to be used either as an ice pack or a heat pack. Such hot/cold gel packs are available from Caldera International, Inc., the assignee of the present invention.

In some instances, a person manually holds a temperature therapy pack against the affected body part. Other times a temperature therapy pack may be held against an affect body part by tape or a wrap. As an example, the wrap may use a heavy material such as neoprene or any other foam-backed fabric with a hook and loop fastener to hold a temperature therapy pack against a body region. Such wraps are described at www.calderaintl.com and are available from Caldera International, the assignee of the present invention.

While effective at temporarily securing a temperature therapy pack against a person's body, the heavy material of such wraps is uncomfortable and impracticable for sustained wear. Moreover, tape or wraps can require significant mobility to apply or remove the temperature therapy pack. After some surgical or other medical procedures, such mobility can be difficult for a patient and attempts at such mobility can injure the region traumatized by the procedure, thereby delaying or complicating healing. In addition, such efforts can be difficult, painful and inconvenient.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,283,124 describes a compression garment that applies post-operative pressure to a body region traumatized by a surgical procedure. The compression garment includes a pocket or pouch on the inside of the garment to receive a compression pad (i.e., closed-cell elastomeric foam) that applies steady pressure against the body region. Positioning the pouch or pocket inside the garment allows the garment to work with the compression pad to apply the pressure. However, the positioning of the pocket inside the garment prevents access to the pocket, thereby rendering the garment of little use to temperature therapy.

Accordingly, the present invention includes a temperature therapy garment for applying localized hot or cold temperature therapy to a region of a person's body. The garment includes a main body portion that is formed from a generally breathable, elasticized fabric and encircles and form-fits the torso of the patient body. At least a pair of openings are included to accommodate at least a pair of patient limbs (i.e., legs, or arms, or both).

At least one pocket is positioned on an outer face of the garment in alignment with the region of the person's body to receive temperature therapy. A hot or cold temperature therapy pouch fits within the at least one pocket to be held against the person's body. The region of the patient body with which the at least one pocket is aligned may correspond to a region that is subjected to a medical procedure, such as a cosmetic surgical procedure.

Additional objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the detailed description of the preferred embodiment thereof, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a patient wearing a temperature therapy garment for applying localized hot or cold therapy to a region of the body.

FIG. 2 is a front view of a patient wearing a temperature therapy garment for applying localized hot or cold therapy to a region of the body.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a front view of a patient 10 wearing a temperature therapy garment 12 for applying localized hot or cold therapy to a region of the body of patient 10. For example, the hot or cold therapy may be applied to a region that is traumatized by undergoing a surgical procedure such as suction lipoplasty of the abdomen, hips or flanks, or other non-cosmetic procedures.

Temperature therapy garment 12 includes a main body portion 14 that encircles and form-fits the torso of patient 10 and at least a pair of openings 16 for at least a pair of limbs (e.g., legs, arms, or both, the former shown in FIG. 1). Temperature therapy garment 12 is made from a generally breathable, elasticized fabric, such as Lycra® or a like fabric, to provide a snug, form-fit on patient 10.

The form-fitting around the torso of patient 10 and the generally breathable, elasticized fabric together allow temperature therapy garment 12 to be worn continuously for an extended period of time (e.g., plural days) in relative comfort without the need to be taken off. Continuous wearing of garment 12 prevents the traumatized region from being injured during removal in the immediate days after a surgical procedure, thereby improving and speeding the initial healing of the traumatized region.

Temperature therapy garment 12 includes at least one pocket 20 that is positioned on an outer face of garment 12 in alignment with a body region that is to receive hot or cold treatment therapy. For example, the at least one pocket 20 is positioned to overlay the region traumatized by the surgical procedure (e.g., the abdomen, hips or flanks of patient 10 where suction lipoplasty occurs). Pocket 20 has an opening 22 and is sized to receive a heat or ice pack, such as a gel-filled temperature therapy pouch 24, which has been heated or frozen to provide hot or cold temperature therapy to the traumatized region. A closure or flap 26 with an optional fastener 28 (e.g., a hook and loop fastener) selectively closes opening 22 to securely hold temperature therapy pouch 24 inside pocket 20.

Pocket 20 is positioned on outer face of garment 12 so that patient 10 can readily and conveniently insert temperature therapy pouch 24 and remove it without injuring the traumatized region. For example, temperature therapy pouch 24 being used for cold temperature therapy may need to be removed after about 20 minutes of treatment. Safe and convenient access can prevent injuries that can delay healing of the traumatized region.

Temperature therapy garment 12 may be of a pull-on type that includes no closable opening or “fly,” or may optionally include a lengthwise opening or “fly” that is closable with a lengthwise fastener such as a zipper, hook and loop strips, etc. to facilitate donning or removal.

FIG. 2 illustrates as an alternative implementation a temperature therapy garment 50 for applying localized hot or cold therapy to a region of the body of patient 10. Except as otherwise indicated, temperature therapy garment 50 is substantially the same as temperature therapy garment 12, with common features indicated by common reference numerals.

Temperature therapy garment 50 includes a main body portion 14 that encircles and form-fits the torso of patient 10 and at least a pair of openings 16 for at least a pair of limbs (e.g., legs, arms, or both, the former shown in FIG. 1). Temperature therapy garment 12 is made from a generally breathable, elasticized fabric, such as Lycra® or a like fabric, to provide a snug, form-fit on patient 10.

Temperature therapy garment 50 includes a pocket 20 that is positioned on outer face or garment 50 in alignment with a body region that could receive hot or cold treatment therapy, and further includes pockets 52 and 54 that are positioned in alignment with respective body regions that could receive hot or cold treatment therapy. Pockets 52 and 54 typically are sized and shaped differently from pocket 20 to accommodate the regions affected by medical procedures in those areas. Pockets 52 and 54 have openings 56 and 58 and are sized to receive heat or ice pack, such as gel-filled temperature therapy pouches 60 and 62, respectively. A closures or flaps 64 and 66 with optional fasteners 68 and 70 (e.g., hook and loop fasteners) selectively close openings 56 and 58, respectively.

FIG. 2 shows all temperature therapy pouches 24, 60, and 62 for purposes of illustration. It will be appreciated that only one or two of pockets 20, 52, and 54 could be used at a time. A benefit of temperature therapy garment 50 is that a single garment design can provide temperature therapy for a variety of medical procedures, thereby reducing the number of separate garments to be stocked.

It will be appreciated that the locations of pockets 20, 52, and 54 are merely examples and that temperature therapy garments can include pockets in any appropriate location on such a garment. For example, another implementation of such a garment could include only pocket 54, or one or more pockets located in locations other than the locations of pockets 20, 52, and 54.

In view of the many possible embodiments to which the principles of our invention may be applied, it should be recognized that the detailed embodiments are illustrative only and should not be taken as limiting the scope of our invention. Rather, we claim as our invention all such embodiments as may come within the scope and spirit of the following claims and equivalents thereto.





 
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