Title:
Bedside storage structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bedside storage structure for use in hospitals, nursing homes, rest homes, and other medical care facilities wherein the storage structure includes a bottom storage unit or structure having one or more drawers or doors for permitting access thereto. Rotatively mounted on the bottom storage structure is a storage unit that includes a series of compartments that are disposed around the vertical axis. A top is fixedly secured over the rotating unit. A series of grab bars extend between the top and the bottom storage structure to assist individuals or patients in moving and maneuvering around the bedside storage structure.



Inventors:
Brandon, John Bradford (Attica, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/291746
Publication Date:
06/07/2007
Filing Date:
12/01/2005
Assignee:
Artone Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ING, MATTHEW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COATS & BENNETT, PLLC (Cary, NC, US)
Claims:
1. A bedside storage structure for use in hospitals, nursing homes, rest homes, and other medical care facilities, comprising: a. a bottom storage structure having a top and an accessible interior area for storage; b. a rotary support disposed over the top of the bottom storage structure, the rotary support including a first member fixably secured to the bottom storage structure and a second member rotatable relative to the first member and the bottom storage structure; c. a rotary compartmentalized storage section rotatively mounted over the bottom storage structure for rotation about a vertical axis, the rotary compartmentalized storage section being mounted to the second member of the rotary support and including: i. a bottom fixed to the second member of the rotary support such that the bottom can rotate with the second member and relative to the bottom support structure; ii. an array of compartments disposed over the bottom and distributed around the compartmentalized storage section, one or more of the compartments being open from the side such that articles and objects can easily be placed in the compartments; iii. a generally central opening formed in the rotary compartmentalized storage section, the central opening extending through the bottom and the array of compartments of the compartmentalized storage section; iv. wherein the array of compartments are disposed outwardly of and around the central opening; d. a fixed vertical support secured to the bottom storage structure and extending upwardly through the central opening of the compartmentalized storage section, the vertical support extending through the bottom and the array of compartments of the compartmentalized storage section; e. the fixed vertical support including an upper end; f. a top fixed to the upper end of the vertical support and extending over the compartmentalized storage section; g. wherein the compartmentalized storage section is rotatively supported between the bottom storage structure and the fixed top, and wherein the compartmentalized storage section can rotate with the second member of the rotary support independently of the vertical support and independently of the top, and further the compartmentalized storage section can rotate around the vertical support; and h. one or more grab bars extending between the top of the bottom storage structure and the top for assisting people in moving in the vicinity the bedside storage structure.

2. The bedside storage structure of claim 1 wherein the first and second members of the rotary support include two concentric rings that extend around an opening and wherein the vertical support extends through the opening defined by the two concentric rings.

3. The bedside storage structure of claim 1 wherein the array of compartments includes an inner wall structure that defines the central opening that extends through the compartmentalized storage section.

4. The bedside storage structure of claim 1 wherein the central opening formed in the compartmentalized storage section is elongated and generally rectangular or square in cross section.

5. The bedside storage structure of claim 4 wherein the vertical support includes an elongated structural member having at least two components disposed at generally 90° with respect to each other.

6. The bedside storage structure of claim 1 wherein the bottom storage structure and the top include corner areas and wherein there is provided at least two grab bars with each grab bar extending between aligned corner areas of the bottom storage structure and the top.

7. The bedside storage structure of claim 1 wherein the bottom storage structure includes one or more drawers.

8. A storage structure comprising: a. a bottom storage structure having a top and an accessible interior area for storage; b. a rotary compartmentalized storage section rotatively mounted to the bottom storage structure; c. the rotary compartmentalized storage section including an array of compartments disposed around the compartmentalized storage section; d. a fixed top disposed over the rotary compartmentalized storage section, wherein the rotary compartmentalized storage section is rotatable with respect to both the bottom storage structure and the top; and e. one or more supports extending upwardly from the bottom storage structure and connecting with the top so as to support the top over the rotary compartmentalized storage section; and f. wherein the rotary compartmentalized storage section is sandwiched between the bottom storage structure and the fixed top, but is rotatable about a vertical axis with respect to both the bottom storage structure and the fixed top.

9. The storage structure of claim 8 wherein the supports for supporting the top include at least one grab bar that is connected between the bottom storage structure and the top and disposed outwardly of the rotating compartmentalized storage section.

10. The storage structure of claim 8 wherein the rotating compartmentalized storage section includes an elongated central vertical opening that extends through the rotating compartmentalized storage section; and wherein there is provided a central support structure that is secured to the bottom storage structure and extends upwardly therefrom through the central opening of the rotating compartmentalized storage section where an upper end portion thereof is secured to the top.

11. The storage structure of claim 8 wherein the bottom storage structure is provided with one or more drawers or doors that permit access to the interior storage area.

12. The storage structure of claim 10 wherein the array of compartments are disposed outwardly of the central opening and wherein the compartments are disposed substantially around the entirety of the central opening and wherein one or more of the compartments are open from the side to permit easy access thereto.

13. The storage structure of claim 8 including a rotary support interposed between the bottom storage structure and the rotating compartmentalized storage section, the rotary support including a first member fixed to the bottom storage structure and a second member rotatable with respect to the first member and connected to the compartmentalized storage section, permitting the compartmentalized storage section to rotate with respect to the bottom support structure.

14. A storage structure, comprising: a. a bottom storage structure having a top and an accessible interior area for storage; b. the bottom storage structure including one or more drawers or doors for permitting access to the interior storage area; c. a rotating storage unit supported on the bottom storage structure and rotatable about a vertical axis with respect to the bottom storage structure; and d. wherein the rotatable storage unit includes an array of storage compartments disposed around the rotating storage unit.

15. The storage structure of claim 14 wherein the rotating storage unit includes a central opening and wherein there is provided a vertical support structure that is supported by the bottom storage structure and extends upwardly through the central opening of the rotating storage unit and includes an upper end portion; a top fixed to the upper end portion of the vertical support and wherein the top overlies a substantial portion of the rotating storage unit; and wherein the rotating storage unit rotates around the vertical support.

16. The storage structure of claim 15 including one or more grab bars that extend between the bottom storage structure and the top, wherein the grab bars assist individuals in moving in the vicinity of the storage structure.

17. The storage structure of claim 14 including a rotary support interposed between the bottom storage structure and the rotating storage unit, the rotary support including a pair of concentric rings, one ring being fixed to the bottom storage structure and the other ring being secured to the rotating storage unit; and wherein the vertical support extends upwardly through an opening defined interiorly of the two concentric rings.

18. The storage structure of claim 14 wherein the array of compartments are formed by a structure that includes an inner rectangular or square wall that defines a central opening through the rotating storage unit; and wherein there is provided a vertical support structure that is secured to the bottom storage structure and extends upwardly through the central opening and includes an upper end portion that attaches to a top that is fixed with respect to the rotating storage unit, the top extending substantially over the rotating storage unit.

19. The storage unit of claim 18 wherein a plurality of the compartments formed in the rotating storage unit are open from the side to permit easy access thereto.

20. The storage structure of claim 14 wherein the array of compartments is formed by a series of members that intersect at generally 90° angles to form compartments substantially around the vertical axis of the rotating storage unit, and wherein the structure forming the compartments also forms an inner wall that defines a rectangular or square central opening for receiving a vertical support that extends between the bottom support structure and a top, and wherein the vertical support structure supports the top in a fixed location with respect to the rotating storage unit.

21. The storage structure of claim 14 including a top disposed over the rotating unit and one or more grab bars extending between the top and the bottom support structure.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to furniture, and more particularly to medical furniture used in hospitals, nursing homes, rest homes, and other medical care facilities.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Examining the furniture in a hospital room or any medical care facility for that matter will reveal something noteworthy about the nature and functionality of the furniture. In many cases, with the exception of a hospital bed, the furniture is not designed for the needs of patients and individuals inhabiting the facility. Bedside furniture, for example, is seldom designed with the patient in mind or taking into account particular limitations of patients. Bedside furniture, of course, should serve numerous functions including the storage of particular personal items and effects such as clothing, glasses, jewelry, and even medications. Often personal items must be stored in a drawer in a bedside cabinet or nightstand. This is often difficult for patients to reach, and even after gaining access to the drawer a patient may find his or her personal matters all jumbled-up and not in an orderly and organized manner. For some patients this is particularly problematic because they have mobility limitations and reaching across and sometimes downwardly to gain access to a draw can be difficult. Other patients face a challenge when it comes to maintaining their personal belongings in an organized manner where a patient can easily locate their belongings.

Therefore, there has been and continues to be a need for a bedside storage structure that will facilitate patients and individuals in hospitals and other medical care facilities, in maintaining their personal belongings in an orderly and organized fashion such that they can be easily accessed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention entails a storage structure that includes a bottom storage unit or structure that includes an accessible interior storage area that can be accessed, for example, through one or more drawers or doors. Rotatively mounted on the bottom storage structure is a compartmentalized storage section. This rotating storage section includes an array of individual compartments that permit a patient or another person to store items, objects and personal belongings.

In one particular embodiment of the present invention, the rotating compartmentalized storage section includes a central opening. A vertical support extends through this central opening and is supported by the bottom storage structure. The vertical support includes an upper end that attaches to a top that is fixed with respect to the rotating compartmentalized storage section. Hence, in this embodiment of the present invention, the rotating compartmentalized storage section rotates between the bottom storage structure and the fixed top.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention there is provided one or more grab bars that are connected between the bottom storage structure and the fixed top. When the storage structure of the present invention is employed in the hospital or other medical care facility, the grab bars facilitate a patient or person moving and maneuvering around the storage structure.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent and obvious from a study of the following description and the accompanying drawings which are merely illustrative of such invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the storage structure of the present invention.

FIG. 1A is a view similar to FIG. 1, but showing an alternative design for the bottom storage structure.

FIG. 2 is a partial sectional view of the storage unit shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the storage unit of the present invention with the top removed.

FIG. 3A is a view similar to FIG. 3, but which shows an alternate design for the vertical support that supports the top of the storage structure of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT

With further reference to the drawings, the storage structure of the present invention is shown therein and indicated generally by the numeral 10. Storage structure 10 can be utilized in various ways, but it is contemplated that one application for the storage structure would be as a storage or utility structure that is particularly useful in hospitals, nursing homes, rest homes, and other medical care facilities. It will be appreciated however, that the storage structure 10 has a wide range of utility and could be utilized in many environments.

Turning to a more detailed discussion of the storage unit 10, the same includes a bottom storage structure or base unit indicated generally by the numeral 12. Bottom storage unit 12 includes a bottom, back, front, and a pair of opposed sides 14 and a top 16. Formed interiorly of the bottom storage structure 12 a storage area. Access to this storage area can be gained through drawers 18 (FIG. 1) or doors 18A (FIG. 1A).

As particularly shown in FIG. 2, disposed over the bottom storage structure 12 is a rotary support. The rotary support is a structure that is often referred to as a “Lazy Susan.” Details of the rotary support or Lazy Susan are not dealt with herein because rotary supports such as Lazy Susans are well known in the art and are commercially available. In the case of the rotary support or Lazy Susan disclosed herein, the same includes two concentric rings with an interior opening 24 defined by the two rings. The two concentric rings are referred to as a first member 20 and a second member 22. In this particular case, first member 20 is secured to the top 16 of the bottom storage structure 12. Thus, the first member or outer concentric ring 20 is fixed and does not move. The interior ring or second member 22 is rotatable within the outer ring or first member 20. It is appreciated that the first and second members 20 and 22 would be physically connected, but the individual rings or members 20 and 22 would be capable of rotation with respect to each other. Typically, there is a bearings assembly interposed between the members of the Lazy Susan such that one member can rotate with respect to the other.

Disposed over the bottom storage structure 12 is a rotating section indicated generally by the numeral 30. Rotating section 30 is sometimes referred to as a rotating unit or as a rotary compartmentalized storage section. In any event, rotating section 30 is supported by the rotary support 20, 22 just described. In particular, the inner ring or second member 22 is secured to the rotating section 30 such that the rotating section 30 rotates about a vertical axis. It is appreciated that the rotating section 30 would be slightly elevated with respect to outer ring or first member 20 of the rotary support such that the rotating section could rotate without frictional interference from the outer ring 20.

Rotating section 30 includes a bottom 32, which in the case of this embodiment is round. See FIG. 1. Supported on the bottom 32 is a series of vertical members that are spaced and connected so as to form an array of compartments that extend around the vertical axis of the rotating section 30. In some cases, the compartments extend the full height of the rotating section, and in other cases there are provided horizontal dividers that form one compartment over another.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 1A and 3, in the particular design illustrated there are three compartments on each side of the rotating section. On one side there are compartments 38, 40 and 42. On the other side there are compartments 48, 50 and 52. In FIG. 1 there are two front compartments 44 and 46. Likewise, about the rear as viewed in FIG. 1, there would be two compartments opposite the front compartments 44 and 46.

Note that the compartments are all outwardly disposed around the periphery of the rotating section 30. In particular, the vertical members that form the compartment also form an inner wall. More particularly, as illustrated in FIG. 3, these vertical members include wall section 60, 62, 64 and 66. These inner wall sections form an elongated central opening 34 that extends vertically entirely through the rotating section 30. That is, the opening extends through the bottom 32 of the rotating section as well as through the various compartments just described. This opening, as best seen in FIG. 3 is of a rectangular or square configuration.

A vertical support 80 of 80A is disposed within the central opening 34 of the rotating section 30. As seen in FIG. 3, in one embodiment the vertical support 80 includes a series of members that are disposed at 90° with respect to each other. In this particular embodiment, the cross section of the vertical support 80 assumes a generally “plus” shape. In any event, vertical support 80 extends entirely through the central section 34 and through the opening 24 formed in the concentric rings 20 and 22 of the rotary support. A lower portion or lower end of the vertical support 80 is secured by bolts, other fasteners or glued to the top 16 of the bottom storage structure 12. Vertical support 80 includes a top end that is connected to an overlying top 90. Top 90 includes a surrounding molding 90A. Again, the vertical support 80 can be connected to the top 90 in various ways such as by fasteners or glue. FIG. 3A shows an alternate embodiment for the vertical support. In this case the vertical support comprises a tubular member that is referred to as 80A. The tubular member could assume various cross sectional shapes such as rectangular or square. The tubular member 80A functions the same as the support member 80 described above. That is, the vertical support 80A extends entirely through the central section 34 and through the opening 24 formed in the concentric rings 20 and 22 of the rotary support. A lower portion or lower end of the vertical support 80A is secured by bolts, other fasteners or glue to the top 16 of the bottom storage structure 12. A top portion of the vertical support 80A is connected to the overlying top 90.

It is appreciated that top 90 is fixed with respect to the rotating section 30. Top 90 also substantially overlies the rotating section 30 and effectively encloses an upper end portion of the rotating section.

Extending between the top 90 and the bottom storage structure 12 is a pair of grab bars 100 and 102. Note that the grab bars 100 and 102 in this embodiment are disposed on one side of the storage structure 10. In particular, each grab bar is secured about a corner area of the bottom storage structure 12 and extends upwardly therefrom to where the grab bar connects to a corner area of the top 90. The grab bars 100 and 102 can be made of various materials, but in one embodiment it is contemplated that they would be constructed of stainless steel.

It is appreciated that the rotating unit 30 and the respective compartment thereof are rotated about the vertical support 80. As viewed in FIG. 3, it is appreciated that the rotating section 30 can rotate about the vertical support 80 without there being any interference between the vertical support 80 and any one of the wall segments 60, 62, 64 and 66 that form the central opening 34. It is appreciated that the vertical axis of the rotating section 30 would coincide with the vertical axis or center line of the vertical support 80.

Storage structure 10 of the present invention can be constructed of various materials such as woods, wood composites, plastic, metal or any other suitable material. The compartments that form a part of the rotating section 30 can assume various forms. In the embodiment illustrated herein, the compartments are open from the side to permit easy access thereto. However, it is appreciated that these compartments could be provided in the form of drawers or small doors or access openings. In addition, the size and location of the compartments can vary. In the embodiment illustrated herein, the compartments are disposed outwardly of the central opening 34, but that particular relationship may vary from embodiment to embodiment.

The present invention may, of course, be carried out in other specific ways than those herein set forth without departing from the scope and the essential characteristics of the invention. The present embodiments are therefore to be construed in all aspects as illustrative and not restrictive and all changes coming within the meaning and equivalency range of the appended claims are intended to be embraced therein.