Title:
Phlebotomists chair cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable cover for a phlebotomists chair includes a covering, wherein the covering is adapted to cover a portion of the phlebotomists chair. The covering also comprises a peripheral edge and an attachment member comprising a band of material generally disposed along at least a portion of the peripheral edge of the covering. The attachment member retains the covering over the portion of the phlebotomists chair.



Inventors:
Bullocks, Sara E. (Vandalia, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/404708
Publication Date:
10/25/2007
Filing Date:
04/14/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C27/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070085401Adjustable head support for a chairApril, 2007Hunziker et al.
20030030317Armrest of chair with cushionFebruary, 2003Chen
20080185889ADJUSTABLE FURNITUREAugust, 2008Kipperman
20090152890Seat Sliding Device for VehiclesJune, 2009KO
20080185897Ready to assemble sofa and method for packaging sameAugust, 2008Griggs
20070182221CHILD ACTIVITY CENTERAugust, 2007Mcconnell et al.
20090236891MOTION CONVERTING DRIVE MECHANISM AND VEHICLE SEAT APPARATUS INCLUDING THE SAMESeptember, 2009Ito
20090236895Furniture construction with tensioned fabricSeptember, 2009Bottemiller
20040026979Vertical hammock & pillowFebruary, 2004Haddon
20070182235Restraint plate for humans in vehiclesAugust, 2007Fonseca De et al.
20090045665VEHICLE SEATING WITH FOOT RESTFebruary, 2009Dowty et al.



Primary Examiner:
ALEX, JAMES S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAPARELLA & ASSOCIATES, PC (GRAND RAPIDS, MI, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A single use cover for a phlebotomists chair comprising: a covering, the covering adapted to cover a portion of the phlebotomists chair, the covering comprising a peripheral edge; and an attachment member, the attachment member comprising a band of material generally disposed along at least a portion of the peripheral edge of the covering, the attachment member retaining the covering over the portion of the phlebotomists chair.

2. The cover according to claim 1, wherein: the covering is disposable.

3. The cover according to claim 1, wherein: the covering comprises an upper layer and a lower layer disposed adjacent the upper layer, the upper layer comprising an absorbent material, the lower layer comprising a liquid impermeable material.

4. The cover according to claim 1, wherein: the covering is provided in more than one color.

5. The cover according to claim 1, wherein: the portion of the chair comprises an armrest.

6. The cover according to claim 3, wherein: the lower layer includes padding.

7. The cover according to claim 3, wherein: the upper layer includes a pattern disposed thereon.

8. A single use cover for a phlebotomists chair comprising: a covering, the covering adapted to cover a portion of the phlebotomists chair, the covering comprising a peripheral edge; the covering further including an upper layer, and a lower layer disposed adjacent the upper layer; and an attachment member, the attachment member comprising a band of material generally disposed along at least a portion of the peripheral edge of the covering, the attachment member retaining the covering over the portion of the phlebotomists chair.

9. The cover according to claim 8, wherein: the covering is disposable.

10. The cover according to claim 8, wherein: the covering comprises an upper layer and a lower layer disposed adjacent the upper layer.

11. The cover according to claim 10, wherein: the upper layer comprises an absorbent material.

12. The cover according to claim 10, wherein: the lower layer comprises a liquid impermeable material.

13. The cover according to claim 8, wherein: the attachment member comprises an elastic band.

14. The cover according to claim 8, wherein: the portion of the chair comprises an armrest.

15. The cover according to claim 10, wherein: the lower layer includes padding.

16. The cover according to claim 10, wherein: the upper layer includes a pattern disposed thereon.

17. A disposable cover for an armrest of a phlebotomists chair comprising: a covering, the covering adapted to cover a portion of the phlebotomists chair, the covering comprising a peripheral edge; the covering further including an upper layer, wherein the upper layer comprises an absorbent material, and a lower layer disposed adjacent the upper layer, the lower layer comprising a liquid impermeable material; and an attachment member, the attachment member comprising a elastic band of material generally disposed along at least a portion of the peripheral edge of the covering, the attachment member retaining the covering over the armrest of the phlebotomists chair.

18. The cover according to claim 3, wherein: the lower layer includes padding.

19. The cover according to claim 3, wherein: the upper layer includes a pattern disposed thereon.

20. A method of withdrawing blood from a patients arm comprising: providing a chair having an armrest; covering the armrest with a covering, the covering adapted to cover a portion of the phlebotomists chair, the covering comprising a peripheral edge and an attachment member, the attachment member comprising a band of material generally disposed along at least a portion of the peripheral edge of the covering, the attachment member retaining the covering over the armrest of the phlebotomists chair; positioning the patient in the chair such that the patients arm is rested upon the covered armrest; withdrawing the patients blood from the arm disposed on the covered armrest; removing the patient from the chair; removing the covering from the armrest; and disposing of the covering.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention pertains to health care, and more specifically to a protective device used to cover chairs and the like.

With the increased awareness and concern that people have over their health, more and more individuals are regularly seeing health care physicians and taking more of an active role in the maintenance of their health. The health care system will see even further increases in demand as a large portion of the population ages, while concurrently, the average life span increases. As such, the demand on health care systems and providers is increasing rapidly. In fact, most authorities argue that the health care system will soon be in a crisis mode due to the increased demand. In order to help alleviate these problems, systems and methods are required which assist the health care giver in providing these services. Such systems and methods are described herein and will allow health care providers to, for example, draw blood in a more efficient manner, while simultaneously preventing the spread of disease.

One such system and method includes providing a chair cover that can be used on a phlebotomist's chair. For example, when someone goes to get their blood drawn from a laboratory, they will typically sit in a chair which includes a relatively horizontal armrest. The phlebotomist uses the armrest to gain control and access to the patients arm. Typically, the patient rests their arm on the armrest, and the phlebotomist then proceeds with the blood drawing. The blood drawing is usually relatively clean, and in this circumstance, no tissue or fluids are left on the armrest. However, in certain circumstances, problems do arise and blood, other body fluids, and/or tissue can become disposed on the armrest. In these cases, the phlebotomist will clean these contaminants, if observed, before the next patient arrives. However, if these contaminants are not observed, current guidelines are such that the armrest is required to be cleaned only once per day. Various cleaning agents, solutions, and methods have been developed and are used to clean the armrest. However, these agents, solutions, and methods are not used after every use. As such, bodily fluids, tissue samples, micro-organisms, and other contaminants can become disposed and remain on the armrest, yet remain unseen and therefore, pose a health hazard. Therefore, depending on the facility and/or the staff thereof, the armrest can become quite dirty and turn into a possible zone for infection and contamination for numerous diseases such as AIDS, TB, and the like.

Accordingly, a need exists for covers that protect hospital seating equipment which have, among other advantages, the ability to eliminate or reduce the spread of disease, and that are easy to use, low cost, and increase patient comfort. Therefore, a cover that solves the aforementioned disadvantages and having the aforementioned advantages is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The aforementioned drawbacks and disadvantages of contemporary systems and methods have been identified and a solution is set forth herein by the inventive covers which includes a single use cover for a phlebotomists chair comprising a covering, wherein the covering is adapted to cover a portion of the phlebotomists chair. The covering also comprises a peripheral edge. Also included is an attachment member, wherein the attachment member comprises a band of material generally disposed along at least a portion of the peripheral edge of the covering, the attachment member retains the covering over the portion of the phlebotomists chair.

Another aspect of the present invention includes a single use cover for a phlebotomists chair which includes a covering, wherein the covering is adapted to cover a portion of the phlebotomists chair and further includes a peripheral edge. The covering further includes an upper layer, and a lower layer disposed adjacent the upper layer, and an attachment member. The attachment member comprises a band of material generally disposed along at least a portion of the peripheral edge of the covering, whereby the attachment member retains the covering over the portion of the phlebotomists chair.

In another aspect of the present invention, a disposable cover for an armrest of a phlebotomists chair includes a covering, wherein the covering is adapted to cover a portion of the phlebotomists chair. The covering also comprises a peripheral edge. The covering further includes an upper layer, wherein the upper layer comprises an absorbent material, and a lower layer disposed adjacent the upper layer, the lower layer comprising a liquid impermeable material. The covering further includes an attachment member, wherein the attachment member comprises an elastic band of material generally disposed along at least a portion of the peripheral edge of the covering. The attachment member retains the covering over the armrest of the phlebotomists chair.

And still in another aspect of the present invention, a method of withdrawing blood from a patients arm includes: providing a chair having an armrest; covering the armrest with a covering, the covering adapted to cover a portion of the phlebotomists chair, the covering comprising a peripheral edge and an attachment member, the attachment member comprising a band of material generally disposed along at least a portion of the peripheral edge of the covering, the attachment member retaining the covering over the armrest of the phlebotomists chair; positioning the patient in the chair such that the patients arm is rested upon the covered armrest; withdrawing the patients blood from the arm disposed on the covered armrest; removing the patient from the chair; removing the covering from the armrest; and disposing the covering.

And yet in another aspect of the present invention, in conjunction with a blood drawing chair for positioning a patient during a blood drawing process, the blood drawing chair including at least one armrest for positioning and supporting a patients arm thereupon, the armrest including an upper surface, a disposable arm rest cover, wherein the arm rest cover includes a single use cover configured to substantially cover the upper surface of the armrest.

And still in another aspect of the present invention, a method for withdrawing blood from a patient positioned in a blood drawing chair is disclosed, wherein the blood drawing chair includes at least one armrest, the armrest having an upper surface thereto, whereby the method includes: providing a disposable armrest cover; positioning the armrest cover to at least substantially cover the upper surface of the armrest; positioning a patents arm upon the upper surface of the covered armrest, wherein the patient may now have their blood withdrawn and after any such blood withdrawal, removing the patients arm therefrom; removing the cover from the armrest; and disposing the cover.

Other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. The above brief description sets forth rather broadly the more important features of the present disclosure so that the detailed description that follows may be better understood, and so that the present contributions to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the disclosures that will be described hereinafter which will form the subject matter of the claims.

In this respect, before explaining the preferred embodiment of the disclosure in detail, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and the arrangement set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The cover of the present disclosure is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for description and not limitation. Where specific dimensional and material specifications have been included or omitted from the specification or the claims, or both, it is to be understood that the same are not to be incorporated into the claims.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be used as a basis for designing other structures, methods, and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important therefore, that the claims are regarded as including such equivalent constructions as far as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Further, the purpose of the Abstract is to enable the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practioners in the art who are not familiar with the patent or legal terms of phraseology, to learn quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essences of the technical disclosure of the application. Accordingly, the Abstract is intended to define neither the invention nor the application, which is only measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

These and other objects, along with the various features, and structures that characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the cover of the present disclosure, its advantageous and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated and described the preferred embodiments of the invention.

While embodiments of the cover are herein illustrated and described, it is to be appreciated that various changes, rearrangements and modifications maybe made therein, without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a phlebotomists chair having a cover disposed on an arm thereof;

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the cover of FIG. 1, the cover being removed from the phlebotomists chair;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the cover taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2, rotated 180 degrees; and

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the circled portion 4 of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The best mode for caring out the invention is presented in terms of the preferred embodiment, wherein similar referenced characters designate corresponding features throughout the several figures of the drawings.

For purposes of description herein, the terms “upper”, “lower”, “right”, “left”, “rear”, “front”, “vertical”, “horizontal”, and derivatives thereof, shall relate to the invention as oriented in FIG. 1. However, it is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative orientations, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings and described in the following specification are exemplary embodiments of the inventive concepts defined in the appended claims. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting, unless the claims expressly state otherwise.

Reference will now be made in detail to the present preferred embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, these same referenced numerals will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts. The dimensions illustrated in the drawings (if provided) are included for purposes of example only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present invention. Additionally, particular details in the drawings which are illustrated in hidden or dashed lines are to be considered as forming no part of the present invention.

As used herein, the term phlebotomists chair, is meant to refer to any type of chair, bench, stool, or any other seating device or surface that includes one or more armrests. Further, as used herein the term armrest is meant to refer to any type of armrest or support that is used to retain, support and/or control a patients arm during a procedure wherein the patients skin is pierced, opened, or otherwise punctured. For practical purposes, the discussion herein is limited to the aspects of blood drawing. However, the inventive cover may be used on any seating device and for any procedure where a clean surface is required, or where bodily fluids may become exposed, such as, for example, blood withdrawal, intravenous procedures, dialysis, surgical procedures, and the like. Further, although the cover will be useful within the hospital environment, the use of the inventive covers is not meant to be so limited. Still further yet, the covers may be used by healthcare and non-healthcare workers and/or individuals alike. As such, the disclosed inventive covers may take on numerous configurations, and may be used for numerous purposes as is generally known within the art.

The inventive protective cover and method of use includes a chair cover that can be used on a phlebotomist's chair. For example, when someone has their blood drawn from a laboratory, they will typically sit in a chair which includes a relatively horizontal armrest. The phlebotomist uses the armrest to gain control and access to the patients arm. Typically, the patient rests their arm on the armrest and the phlebotomist then proceeds with the blood drawing. The blood drawing is usually relatively clean, and typically, no tissue or fluids are left on the armrest. However, in certain circumstances, problems do arise and blood, other body fluids, and/or tissue can become disposed on the armrest. In these cases, the phlebotomist will clean these contaminants, if observed, before the next patient arrives. However, if these contaminants are not observed, current guidelines are such that the armrest is required to be cleaned only once per day. Various cleaning agents, solutions, and methods have been developed and are used to clean the armrest. However, these agents, solutions, and methods are not used after every use. As such, bodily fluids, tissue samples, micro-organisms, and other contaminants can become disposed and remain on the armrest, yet remain unseen and therefore, pose a health hazard. Therefore, depending on the facility and/or the staff thereof, the armrest can become quite dirty and turn into a possible zone for infection and contamination for numerous diseases such as AIDS, TB, and the like.

Accordingly, a need exists for covers that protect hospital seating equipment which have, among other advantages, the ability to eliminate or reduce the spread of disease, are easy to use, low cost, and increase patient comfort. Therefore, a cover that solves the aforementioned disadvantages and having the aforementioned advantages is disclosed herein.

The disadvantages and drawbacks of the prior art are overcome through the cover of the present invention, wherein one preferred embodiment is disclosed in FIGS. 1-4. Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a single use cover 2 for a phlebotomists chair which includes a covering 10 adapted to cover a portion of the phlebotomists chair 4 (FIG. 1). For example, covering 10 may cover an armrest portion 3 of chair 4. Covering 10 also includes a peripheral edge 12 (FIG. 2) and an attachment member 14 (FIG. 3). Attachment member 14 typically will comprise a band of material disposed along at least a portion of peripheral edge 12, whereby attachment member 14 retains covering 10 over a portion of phlebotomists chair 4.

Covering 10 is designed to cover any surface of a chair 4 which is used, for example, for blood withdrawal. In the preferred embodiment, covering 10 covers an armrest 3 of chair 4. However, covering 10 can be fabricated to cover the seat, back, and leg-rests if so desired. Rather than reiterating the multiple places and positions to which covering 10 may be applied and used on, we will herein limit the discussion to armrests for simplicity. Further, although covering 10 may be used multiple times, one major advantage of covering 10 is its ability to be easily replaced and its cost effectiveness. As such, covering 10 is typically a single-use item and provides a new, clean surface for every patient. In one preferred embodiment, covering 10 is disposable (i.e. thrown away after use). Of course, this is not meant to be limiting and covering 10 could be cleaned, for example by washing, between uses. Further, although covering 10 may be designed to simply cover the surface that requires protection, in one preferred embodiment covering 10 is fabricated to envelop the surface, and at least partially wrap around the sides and underneath of, for example armrest 3, and terminates at a peripheral edge 12 (FIG. 2). Covering 10 is retained on armrest 3 via an attachment member 14. In one preferred embodiment, attachment member 14 is a band of elastic material. For example, a rubber band of elastic material. Of course, other materials, elastic or not, may also be used.

Covering 10 may comprise a single layer of material or multiple layers. In one preferred embodiment, covering 10 is fabricated to include an upper layer 16 and a lower layer 18 adjacently disposed thereto (FIG. 3). Although not meant to be limiting, upper layer 16 may be fabricated from an absorbent material. In this manner any fluid that is discharged will be absorbed and thereby captured by upper layer 16. Additionally, again not meaning to be so limited, lower layer 18 may be fabricated from a liquid impervious material. In this manner, and in conjunction with an absorbent upper layer 16, any liquid trapped in upper layer 16 will not be allowed to permeate completely through covering 10 and will thereby prevent any liquid from reaching the armrest and therefore, keep it clean and free of contamination.

As is typical in hospital environments, in order to allow for hospital equipment to be easily and routinely cleaned, the surfaces are generally made quit hard, and chairs are no exception. As such, covering 10 can be further enhanced by including a padding that is either applied to or replaces lower layer 18. In this manner the patients comfort can be enhanced while still providing protection against contamination. Still further yet, either upper layer 16 or lower layer 18 may be provided with a pattern disposed thereinto. In one preferred embodiment, upper layer 16 has a pattern embossed thereon which helps the patients skin breath during the procedure, aids in the collection of liquids, and may generally improve the appearance and/or manufacturability of the cover. Of course, these features may be embossed or debossed as requirements dictate. Yet further, covering 10 may be fabricated with various designs or patterns printed, stitched, or otherwise disposed thereon, and may also be fabricated in various colors to increase the aesthetic appeal, appearance and/or performance thereof. For example, various cartoon figures may be printed on upper layer 16 and covering 10 may also be provided in various colored arrangements such that children will be more at ease in these health care environments.

The specific configurations and features of covering 10 may vary according to specific requirements. In one preferred embodiment for covering an armrest, covering 10 is generally rectangular in shape and is fabricated in a one-piece configuration from a fabric having an absorbent upper layer 16 and a liquid impermeable, or low liquid permeability, lower layer 18. However, the shape of covering 10 may vary according to specific requirements, and need not be rectangular in configuration. Further, various materials, manufacturing, and fabrication techniques may be used to manufacture covering 10. Additionally, although this particular embodiment of cover 10 is fabricated in a one-piece configuration, multiple pieces can be utilized.

FIG. 1 illustrates covering 10 in use. In this particular embodiment, covering 10 is utilized by first positioning covering 10 on, and then covering armrest 3. Installation is accomplished by stretching opening 13, which is defined by peripheral edge 12, such that opening 13 may be fitted over, and subsequently around armrest 3. After being so stretched and positioned, attachment member 14 is released and allowed to return to its relaxed state. Covering 10 is thereby secured to armrest 3. The nature of the “fit” of covering 10 is accomplished via the size and shape of covering 10, as well as the length, size, and particular characteristics of attachment member 14. All these particulars may be varied according to specified requirements. Once installed on armrest 3, the patient has a new, clean, and comfortable place to rest their arm upon for the subsequent procedure. Once the procedure is finished and the patient has left the chair, covering 10 may be easily removed and then disposed of, whereupon a new covering 10 may then be positioned on armrest 3 thereby readying chair 4 for the next patient.

As such, an economical covering and method of use has been developed which is simple in configuration and appearance, easy to use, and provides protection against contamination and/or infection. Advantageously, the covering of the present invention is efficiently fabricated and elegantly designed while being engineered to prevent infection and contamination. Consequently, the embodiments of the preferred invention disclosed herein reveal a covering which in greatly needed, low in cost, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to use.

The solutions offered by the invention herein have thus been attained in an economical, practical, and facile manner. To whit, a novel covering which is greatly needed, low in cost, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to use has been invented. While preferred embodiments and example configurations of the inventions have been herein illustrated, shown, and described, it is to be appreciated that various changes, rearrangements, and modifications may be made therein, without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims. It is intended that the specific embodiments and configurations disclosed herein are illustrative of the preferred and best modes for practicing the invention, and should not be interpreted as limitations on the scope of the invention as defined by the claims, and it is to appreciated that various changes, rearrangements, and modifications may be made therein, without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims.