Title:
Device for posturing an individual
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A posturing device for posturing an individual so as to render the individual's back accessible. The posturing device comprises a base and a spine support system. The spine support system may be, for example, a flexible chain that conforms to the spinal shape of the individual. The device may also include one or more back supports attached to the base where each back support is moveable from a first configuration in which the back supports are applied to the base, and the individual's back is exposed, except in the spinal region, and a second configuration in which the back supports form an angle with the base and provided support to the back. The device may be used in order to carry out a treatment of the individual's back or for applying one or more transducers, such as microphones, to the individual's back.



Inventors:
Gelman, Gregory (Rehovot, IL)
Kushnir, Igal (Pardes Hana, IL)
Varon, Nissim (Kfar-Saba, IL)
Application Number:
11/210266
Publication Date:
03/01/2007
Filing Date:
08/24/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C16/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LIU, JONATHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NATH, GOLDBERG & MEYER (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A posturing device for posturing an individual, comprising: (a) a base, and (b) a spine support system attached to the base to support the individual's spine while rendering the individual's back accessible.

2. The posturing device according to claim 1 wherein the spine support system comprises a chain.

3. Posturing device according to claim 2 wherein the chain includes a layer of padding.

4. The posturing device according to claim 1 further comprising one or more back supports attached to the base, each back support being moveable from a first configuration in which the back supports are applied to the base and a second configuration in which the back supports form an angle with the base.

5. The posturing device according to claim 4 wherein the back supports include a layer of padding.

6. The posturing device according to claim 4 wherein the back supports are maintained in the second position by means of one or more struts.

7. The posturing device according to claim 6 in which the struts are slidable along the base between a first position in which the back supports can assume their first position and a second position in which the back supports are maintained in the second position.

8. The posturing device according to claim 4 wherein the back supports form an angle between 30 and 50° with the base when in the second position.

9. The posturing device according to claim 1 further comprising a head rest.

10. A bed or couch comprising the posturing device according to claim 1.

11. A method for posturing an individual so as to render the individual's back accessible, comprising; (a) providing a posturing device comprising (i) a base, and (ii) a spine support system attached to the base to support the individual's spine while rendering the individual's back accessible; and (b) placing the individuals spine on the spine support system with the one or more back supports in their first position. The method according to claim 11 wherein the posturing device further comprises one or more back supports attached to the base, each back support being moveable from a first configuration in which the back supports are applied to the base and a second configuration in which the back supports form an angle with the base, and the method further comprises a step of bringing the one or more back supports to their second position.

12. The method according to claim 11 wherein the posturing device is placed on a bed or couch.

13. The method according to claim 11 wherein the bed or couch is in an upright position.

14. The method according to claim 11 wherein the posturing device is integral with a bed or couch.

15. The method according to claim 11 further comprising performing a treatment or examination of the individual's back.

16. The method according to claim 11 further comprising applying one or more transducers to the individual's back.

17. The method according to claim 15 wherein at least one of the transducers is a microphone.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to devices for posturing an individual, for example, in order to carry out a medical treatment or examination of the individual.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is often necessary to posture an individual, for example, in order to carryout a medical treatment or examination. This is particularly the case when the ability of the individual to cooperate with the person performing the treatment or examination is limited, for example, when the individual is unconscious or very weak following a heart attack.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a device for posturing an individual in a posture that allows access to the individual's back. The device may be used when it is necessary to perform a medical treatment or examination on the back, or to apply one or more signal transducers, such as a microphone for recording lung sounds, to the back. The device of the invention may be used in cases where the ability of the individual to cooperate with the delivery of the treatment or examination is limited or non-existent.

The posturing device of the invention has a spine support system that is used to support an individual's spine. The spine support system includes a flexible element that can conform to the shape of the individual's spine when the spine is applied to the flexible element.

The posturing device of the invention preferably further includes a back support system for supporting the individual's back when access to the back is not required. The back support system includes one or more back supports that are movable from a first position in which the back supports do not contact the individual's back when the individual's spine is supported by the flexible element, and a second position, in which the back supports contact the individual's back when the individual's spine is supported by the flexible element. The back supports are maintained in the second position by means of movable struts.

The posturing device of the invention may be used with a bed or couch having an upright configuration, or may be integral with a bed or couch. An individual to be postured by the posturing device lies on the bed with his spine supported by the flexible element and the back supports in their first position. In this configuration, the individual's back, except for the spinal region is accessible. When access to the individual's back is not required, for example, between treatments or examinations, the back supports are brought to their second position. In this configuration, the individual's back is not accessible. However, due to the support to the back provided by the back supports, the individual's back is supported more stably and with greater comfort. When it is desired to perform another treatment or examination, the back supports are brought to their first position.

Thus, in its first aspect, the invention provides a posturing device for posturing an individual so as to render the individual's back accessible, comprising:

    • (a) a base, and
    • (b) a spine support system attached to the base to support the individual's spine while rendering the individual's back accessible.

In its second aspect, the invention provides a method for posturing an individual so as to render the individual's back accessible, comprising;

    • (a) providing a posturing device comprising
      • (i) a base, and
      • (ii) a spine support system attached to the base to support the individual's spine while rendering the individual's back accessible; and
    • (b) placing the individuals spine on the spine support system with the one or more back supports in their first position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to understand the invention and to see how it may be carried out in practice, a preferred embodiment will now be described, by way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a posturing device in accordance with the invention having back supports applied to the base (FIG. 1a), and forming an angle with the base (FIG. 1b); and

FIG. 2 shows use of the device of FIG. 1 to posture an individual with his back exposed (FIG. 2a) and with his back supported by back supports (FIG. 2b).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows a posturing device 1 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The device 1 has a first configuration shown in FIG. 1a in which a back of an individual may be supported only at the spine so as to allow access to most of the back. The device 1 has a second configuration shown in FIG. 1b in which support is provided to most of the back and the back is not accessible.

The device 1 has a base 2 that is generally rectangular in shape. A spine support system 4 is used to support an individual's spine, as described in detail below. The spine support system 4 includes a bottom brace 6 and a top brace 8. The braces 6 and 8 are fixed at an end 10 and 12, respectively, to the base 2. The spine support system further comprises a flexible element 18. In this embodiment, the flexible element 18 is a chain formed from plurality of links 14. Six links 14a to 14f are shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1. Adjacent links 14 in the spine support system 4 are hinged together at hinges 16 so as to form a flexible chain 18. The links 14a and 14f are terminal links in the chain 18 and are hinged to the braces 6 and 8, respectively, at the hinges 16a and 16h, respectively. The chain 18 conforms to the shape of an individual's spine when the spine is applied to the chain 18, as described below. Although six links 14a to 14f are shown in FIG. 1, this is by way of example only, and the number of the links 14 and the length of each link can be determined so as to produce a chain 18 having sufficient flexibility to allow the chain 18 to conform comfortably to the spine. A layer of padding (not shown in FIG. 1) is preferably applied to the links so as to provide a comfortable fit to the spine. A head rest 20 may be attached to the uppermost link 14f to support the individual's head, as described below. The position of the head rest 20 is preferably adjustable by moving the head rest 20 in a track 22 on the uppermost link 14f in order to accommodate individuals of different heights. The head rest 20 may be locked in a desired position along the track 20 by tightening a locking screw (not visible in the perspective of FIG. 1).

The posturing device 1 further includes a back support system for supporting the individual's back when access to the back is not required, as explained below. The back support system includes a first back support 24a and a second back support 24b. The back support systems 24a and 24b are hinged to the base 2 at hinges 26a and 26b, respectively, so as to allow the back supports 24a and b to rotate about the hinges 26a and 26b, respectively, from a first position in which the supports 24a and 24b are in contact with the support 2, as shown in FIG. 1a, and a second position, in which the supports 24a and b form an angle with the support 2, as shown in FIG. 1b. The back supports 24a and b are maintained in the second position shown in FIG. 1b by means of struts 27a and 27b respectively. The struts 27a and 27b are slidable along a pair of tracks 28a and a pair of tracks 28b, respectively, on the base 2. The struts 27a and 27b are slidable along the tracks 29a and 29b, respectively, from a first position shown in FIG. 1 in which the struts 26a and b are positioned on the base 2 above the back supports 24a and 24b, respectively, and a second position shown in FIG. 1b in which they are beneath the back supports 24a and 24b, respectively. The back supports 24a and 24b preferably include an upper layer of padding 25.

FIG. 2 shows use of the posturing device 1. The posturing device 1 is used with a bed or couch 30 having an upright configuration, as shown in FIG. 2. Alternatively, the posturing device 1 may be integral with the bed or couch 30. The posturing device 1, in the first configuration shown in FIG. 1a, is placed on the upright portion of a mattress or cushion of the bed 30 with the top brace 8 at the top, as shown in FIG. 2a. An individual 32 to be postured by the posturing device 1 lies on the bed 30 with his spine supported by the flexible element 18. With the back supports 24 in their first position, the individual's back is accessible, except for the spinal region. In this configuration, a medical treatment or examination to the back may be performed to the back, or one or more medical transducers, or other devices may be applied to the back. When access to the individual's back is not required, for example, between treatments or examinations, the back supports are brought to their second position shown in FIG. 1b by sliding the struts 27a and 27b from their first position (FIG. 1a) to their second position (FIG. 1b). With the posturing device 1 in its second position, the individual's trunk is supported by the back supports 24 as well as by the flexible element 18 of the spinal support system 4. In this configuration, the individuals back is not accessible. However, due to the support of the back by the back supports, the individual is supported more stably and in greater comfort.