Title:
Footboard extension rail
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A footboard extension rail employs a modified side rail. The modification includes a stabilizer bar attached to a convoluted rail and a spring-biased locking mechanism. The stabilizer bar fits around a lower portion of the footboard. A conventional clamping arrangement is utilized to attach the rail to the bed frame.



Inventors:
Milam, Carl G. (Memphis, TN, US)
Application Number:
11/708057
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
02/20/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C21/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SANTOS, ROBERT G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A footboard extension rail, comprising: a first tubular member having telescoping upper and lower ends; a second tubular member spaced from the first tubular member, the second tubular member having telescoping upper and lower ends; a plurality of convoluted cross members traversing the space between the first tubular member and the second tubular member; the plurality of convoluted cross members being attached to the upper end of the first tubular member and the upper end of the second tubular member; and a stabilizer apparatus connecting the first tubular member to the second tubular member, the stabilizer apparatus being attached to the lower end of the first tubular member and the lower end of the second tubular member.

2. The footboard extension rail according to claim 1, wherein said stabilizer apparatus includes an upper bar and a lower bar.

3. The footboard extension rail according to claim 1, further including a clamping bar traversing the space between said first tubular member and said second tubular member, the clamping bar being attached to the lower end of said first tubular member and the lower end of said second tubular member.

4. The footboard extension rail according to claim 3, wherein said clamping bar is disposed below said stabilizer apparatus.

5. The footboard extension rail according to claim 1, further including a spring-loaded locking mechanism enclosed within said first tubular member, said second tubular member and said stabilizer apparatus.

6. A footboard extension rail, comprising: a first tubular member having telescoping upper and lower ends; a second tubular member spaced from the first tubular member, the second tubular member having telescoping upper and lower ends; a plurality of convoluted cross members traversing the space between the first tubular member and the second tubular member; the plurality of convoluted cross members being attached to the upper end of the first tubular member and the upper end of the second tubular member; a stabilizer apparatus connecting the first tubular member to the second tubular member, the stabilizer apparatus including an upper bar attached to the lower end of the first tubular member and the lower end of the second tubular member and a lower bar attached to the lower end of the first tubular member and the lower end of the second tubular member; and a clamping bar traversing the space between the first tubular member and the second tubular member, the clamping bar being attached to the lower end of the first tubular member and the lower end of the second tubular member.

7. The footboard extension rail according to claim 6, wherein said clamping bar is disposed below said stabilizer apparatus.

8. The footboard extension rail according to claim 6, further including a spring-loaded locking mechanism enclosed within said first tubular member, said second tubular member and said stabilizer apparatus.

9. The footboard extension rail according to claim 8 wherein the spring-biased locking mechanism comprises: a movable rod disposed within the upper bar of said stabilizing apparatus; a knob disposed on the upper bar for actuating the movable rod; and spring-biased locking pins attached to, and movable with, the movable rod, the spring-biased locking pins being disposed within said first tubular member and said second tubular member.

10. A footboard extension rail for installation at the footboard of a bed, the footboard having an outer surface, the footboard extension rail comprising: a first tubular member having telescoping upper and lower ends; a second tubular member spaced from the first tubular member, the second tubular member having telescoping upper and lower ends; a plurality of convoluted cross members traversing the space between the first tubular member and the second tubular member; the plurality of convoluted cross members being attached to the upper end of the first tubular member and the upper end of the second tubular member; a stabilizer apparatus connecting the first tubular member to the second tubular member, the stabilizer apparatus including an upper bar attached to the lower end of the first tubular member and the lower end of the second tubular member and a lower bar attached to the lower end of the first tubular member and the lower end of the second tubular member, whereby the stabilizer apparatus is adapted for abutting the outer surface of the footboard; and a clamping bar traversing the space between the first tubular member and the second tubular member, the clamping bar being attached to the lower end of the first tubular member and the lower end of the second tubular member.

11. The footboard extension rail according to claim 10, including a spring-loaded locking mechanism enclosed within said first tubular member, said second tubular member and said stabilizer apparatus.

12. The footboard extension rail according to claim 11 wherein the spring-biased locking mechanism comprises: a movable rod disposed within the upper bar of said stabilizing apparatus; a knob disposed on the upper bar for actuating the movable rod; and spring-biased locking pins attached to, and movable with, the movable rod, the spring-biased locking pins being disposed within said first tubular member and said second tubular member.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/775,366, filed Feb. 22, 2006.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to hospital equipment. More specifically, the present invention is drawn to a footboard extension rail for the footboard of a conventional hospital bed.

2. Description of the Related Art

In many instances, patients in institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes and the like must restrained from exiting, their beds without assistance and without extreme physical restraints, such as tie-downs. Such patients are placed on what is called “fall prevention status”. Conventionally, extension rails have been positioned along the sides of the bed and have been effective in preventing the patients from exiting via the sides. Since the head of the bed is usually disposed adjacent a wall, exiting the bed in this direction is also blocked. However, patients may consider climbing over the footboard as a viable exit, thereby risking serious injury and equipment damage. A durable barrier that can be efficiently attached to the footboard of a conventional hospital bed and that would deter exiting the bed in this direction would certainly be a welcome addition in the art. Thus, a footboard extension rail solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is drawn to an extension rail for the footboards of conventional hospital beds. The extension rail employs a modified side rail. The modification includes stabilizer bars attached to a convoluted rail. The stabilizer bars fit around a lower portion of the footboard. A unique, spring-biased locking mechanism is employed to lock the rail in its extended position. A conventional clamping arrangement is utilized to attach the extension rail to the bed frame.

Accordingly, the invention presents an extension rail for a footboard that is easy to install and remove from the footboard of a bed. The invention provides for improved elements thereof in an arrangement for the purposes described that are inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing their intended purposes.

These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a footboard extension rail according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a footboard extension rail according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a footboard extension rail including a clamp member according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is partial, section view of the locking pin and spring mechanism structure of a footboard extension rail according to the present invention.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Attention is first directed to FIG. 1 wherein the footboard extension rail system of the present invention is generally indicated at 10. As illustrated, the rail system is attached to the frame of the bed at the inside surface of a footboard 12. The footboard 12 has an outer, planar surface 14, a portion of the surface 14 being encompassed by a stabilizer bar apparatus. Rail system 10 functions to deter a patient P from exiting the bed at the foot thereof. Conventional side rails (not shown) would be positioned at the sides of the bed.

As best seen in FIG. 2, rail system 10 comprises horizontally spaced, vertical, tubular end members having respective upper ends 20 and 22 telescopically received in respective lower ends 20a, 22a. The space between the tubular members is traversed by plural, convoluted tubular cross-members 24, 26, 28. The cross-members 24, 26, 28 are attached to the upper ends 20 and 22. A stabilizer apparatus, comprising upper and lower bars 30, 32, is attached to the rail system. Each bar 30, 32 is provided with L-shaped ends 30a, 32a attached to the lower ends 20a, 22a of the respective tubular end members. Cross-members 24, 26, 28 and bars 30 and 32 are provided with telescoping sections for easy adjustment.

As best seen in FIG. 3, a spring-loaded clamping member 34 is telescopically installed on the lower ends of lower members 20a and 22a. Spring-loaded clamping member 34 functions to attach the rail system 10 to the bed frame.

The spring-biased mechanism for locking the telescoping upper ends 20 and 22 in raised positions is best illustrated in FIG. 4. An elongate rod 40 is disposed inside upper bar 30 and is movable therein. Rod 40 is attached at one end to a vertically oriented first locking pin member 42. The other end of rod 40 is attached to a vertically oriented second lock pin member 44. Lock pin members 42 and 44 are housed within lower tubular members 20a and 22a. Springs 46 are attached to lock pin members 42, 44 and function to bias lock pin members 42, 44 into locking engagement with respective lock members 42a, 44a. A knob 50 is attached to rod 40. The knob 50 is slidable to move rod 40 to disengage the lock pin members 42 and 44 when it is desired to lower the railing 10. Spring 52 is employed to bias knob 50 to a locked position.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.