Title:
MATTRESS COVER FOR CONVALESCING PATIENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is provided an inflatable mattress and coverlet used to reduce and treat decubitus ulcers. The mattress is an air inflatable mattress and is particularly adapted for use on a bed in a hospital, nursing home, health care facility or the like. The air inflatable mattress has a series of apertures on the top allowing small amounts of air to pass through to the underside of the coverlet. According to one aspect of the invention the coverlet is placed over the top of air inflatable mattress in the central portion thereof between the head of the bed and the foot of the bed. The coverlet is of sufficient length to extend under the weight bearing portions of the patient. The coverlet has as a first layer a moisture wicking fabric, such as a polyester, and on one side of the moisture wicking fabric there is attached a microporous polymeric member which allows air from the mattress to pass through the coverlet to the patient. Adjacent the polymeric member is another layer comprising a spacer fabric. The side edges of the coverlet form a drip edge and may be attached to the mattress by suitable means.



Inventors:
Bolden, Michael V. (Charleston, SC, US)
Application Number:
11/849760
Publication Date:
03/05/2009
Filing Date:
09/04/2007
Assignee:
IPM, LLC (Wando, SC, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/706, 5/499
International Classes:
A47C31/00; A47C27/08; A47G9/00
View Patent Images:
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20090094755TAMPER EVIDENT MATTRESSES, MATTRESS FOUNDATIONS, AND UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE ARTICLESApril, 2009Murphy et al.
20100083442COTS AND ATTACHMENTS FOR COTS FOR CARRYING PATIENTS OVER UNEVEN OR SLOPED TERRAINApril, 2010Nash
20050188466Air mattressSeptember, 2005Brun et al.
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20080184488RAPID INTERVENTION DRAG STRETCHER DEVICESAugust, 2008Fee et al.
20080172788Beach towel with arm slotsJuly, 2008Rosen



Primary Examiner:
GROSZ, ALEXANDER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
B. CRAIG KILLOUGH (CHARLESTON, SC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A coverlet having a top end, a bottom end and a pair of edges for use on a mattress or chair to reduce and treat decubitus ulcers comprising: (a) a moisture wicking fabric; (b) a microporous polymeric membrane attached to one side of said moisture wicking fabric; and (c) a spacer fabric adjacent the other side of said polymeric membrane.

2. The coverlet according to claim 1 wherein said moisture wicking fabric is polyester.

3. The coverlet according to claim 1 wherein said polymeric membrane is a member of the group selected from polytetrafluoroethlene, polyurethane, polyacrylate, polyester and combinations thereof.

4. The coverlet according to claim 1 wherein said polymeric membrane is a polyurethane

5. The coverlet according to claim 1 wherein said spacer fabric has at least one side mesh three dimensional warp knit fabric and is between 0.60 and 1.0 inches thick.

6. The coverlet according to claim 1 wherein said moisture wicking fabric; and said spacer fabric are sealed on the top and bottom ends.

7. The coverlet according to claim 1 further comprising means to attach said coverlet edges to an inflatable mattress.

8. A coverlet having a top end, a bottom end and a pair of edges for use on an inflatable mattress or chair to reduce and treat decubitus ulcers comprising: (a) a moisture wicking polyester fabric; (b) a microporous polymeric membrane is a member of the group selected from polytetrafluoroethlene, polyurethane, polyacrylate, and polyester attached to one side of said moisture wicking fabric; and (c) a spacer fabric adjacent the other side of said polymeric membrane. said moisture wicking fabric; and said spacer fabric are sealed on the top and bottom ends.

9. An inflatable mattress and coverlet having a top end, a bottom end and a pair of edges to reduce and treat decubitus ulcers, said coverlet comprising: (a) a moisture wicking fabric; (b) a microporous polymeric membrane attached to one side of said moisture wicking fabric; and (c) a spacer fabric adjacent the other side of said polymeric membrane, and said inflatable mattress being connected to means for supplying air above ambient air pressure; wherein said means for supplying air includes an air compressor and controller, whereby air is passed through apertures in said mattress and said coverlet.

10. The inflatable mattress and coverlet according to claim 9 wherein said moisture wicking fabric is polyester.

11. The inflatable mattress and coverlet according to claim 9 wherein said polymeric membrane is a member of the group selected from polytetrafluoroethlene, polyurethane, polyacrylate, polyester, and combinations thereof.

12. The inflatable mattress and coverlet according to claim 9 wherein said polymeric membrane is a polyurethane

13. The inflatable mattress and coverlet according to claim 9 wherein said spacer fabric has at least one side mesh three dimensional warp knit fabric and is between 0.60 and 1.0 inches thick.

14. The inflatable mattress and coverlet according to claim 9 wherein said moisture wicking fabric; and said spacer fabric are sealed on the top and bottom ends.

15. The inflatable mattress and coverlet according to claim 9 wherein the edges of said coverlet from a drip and said edges further comprise means to attach said coverlet to a support surface.

16. The inflatable mattress and coverlet according to claim 9 wherein said air compressor includes a second air supply to an alternating pressure inflatable mattress.

17. An inflatable mattress and coverlet having a top end, a bottom end and a pair of edges to reduce and treat decubitus ulcers, said coverlet comprising: (a) a moisture wicking polyester fabric; (b) a microporous polymeric membrane is a member of the group selected from polytetrafluoroethlene, polyurethane, polyacrylate, polyester, and combinations thereof, attached to one side of said moisture wicking fabric; (c) a spacer fabric adjacent the other side of said polymeric membrane, and said inflatable mattress being connected to means for supplying air above ambient air pressure; wherein said means for supplying air includes an air compressor and controller, whereby air is passed through apertures in said mattress and said coverlet.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a mattress and mattress coverlet for convalescing patients who need to stay in bed for a long period of time. More specifically, the present invention includes a mattress coverlet that provides air to a convalescing patient, wicks away moisture from the patient thereby preventing decubitus ulcers.

2. Description of Related Art

A decubitus ulcer is a pressure sore or the commonly called “bed sore”. Hence the decubitus ulcer normally forms from prolong pressure to an area of tissue that lies just over a bone, such as the spine, coccyx, hips, elbows and the like. Individuals, typically the elderly, who are unable to avoid long periods of uninterrupted pressure over the bony areas, are at increased risk for the development of ulcers. One method of prevention is to consciously change positions; however, this is not always possible even with extensive help.

Various devices have been developed to reduce or eliminate the pressure on such patients. For example, specialized support surfaces are available for bedding and wheelchairs, which can maintain tissue at reduced pressures. These specialized surfaces include foam devices, air-filled deices, low-airloss beds, and air-fluidized beds. Low-airloss beds support the patient on multiple inflatable air-permeable pillows. Air-fluidized beds suspend the patient as air is pumped into an air-permeable mattress containing microspheric uniformly sized beads.

It is known that providing air to the pressure areas of patients requiring treatment or prevention of pressure ulcers is a known benefit. One method of supplying air to such a patient is by small holes in the cushion supporting the patient. These holes are intended to provide air flow to the bottom of a moisture vapor permeable top cover. However, sometimes the top cover can block these holes and stop or reduce air flow.

One such example is the air distribution device described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,926,884 wherein there is disclosed a pad or coverlet for use on a bed or chair and having a plurality of sheets adapted to prevent and treat decubitus ulcers. The top sheet has an undercoat of polyurethane, a center sheet and a bottom of quilted synthetic material. The top sheet of the coverlet is made of low friction nylon with an undercoating of a waterproof yet vapor permeable polyurethane. The top sheet has a plurality of apertures punched through the material. The central sheet is made out of identical material as the top sheet except there are no tiny apertures. The central sheet is a diffuser sheet in that no air passes through it but it spreads the air throughout the air tight portion of the coverlet allowing air to escape through the apertures in the top sheet directly to the patient. The bottom sheet is preferably a quilted synthetic material such as nylon to provide a space for the vapor molecules once they have passed through the coated nylon to travel into and disburse. The coverlet works by providing a low friction surface against the patient's skin by absorbing vapor and moisture coming from the patient and by circulating an amount of air beyond normal ambient air convection to keep wounds dry, to promote healing, and to regulate body temperature.

A device that provides heated air to patients is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,596,018 and includes a mattress having a cushion body having air permeability, an air discharger provided below the cushion body, the air discharger having flexibility for discharging air into the cushion body and a heat source being provided below the cushion body for performing far infrared radiation into the cushion body to dry the patient's skin, facilitate circulation of the patient's blood; thus preventing thus, treating lumbago and arthralgia.

Frequently when bedridden patients are convalescing body fluid in addition to fluid from the sweating patient intrudes into the mattress through sewn seams of the top ticking. When fluids are permitted to enter the interior of a mattress, it can become an infection control problem. At present, this problem is resolved in the upper support surface industry by heat seal taping of sewn seams and/or heat seal welding coated fabrics to prevent fluid intrusion through the seams and or zippers. However, heat seal tape often breaks down with age and laundry cycles. This changes the appearance of the mattress cover and causes it to lose integrity. None of the heretofore described devices has been shown to provide superior care to convalescing patients.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore the general object of the present invention to provide a mattress and mattress coverlet for use by convalescing patients to reduce and treat decubitus ulcers.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a mattress and coverlet which can prevent and reduce afflictions of patients who need to lie in bed for a long period of time.

There is provided a coverlet used to reduce and treat decubitus ulcers. The coverlet is preferably used in combination with an air inflatable mattress and is particularly adapted for use on a bed in a hospital, nursing home, health care facility or the like. The air inflatable mattress may have a series of apertures on the top allowing small amounts of air to pass through to the underside of the coverlet. According to the invention the coverlet is placed over the top of air inflatable mattress between the head of the bed and the foot of the bed. The coverlet has as a first layer a moisture wicking fabric, such as a polyester, and on one side of the moisture wicking fabric there is attached a microporous polymeric member which allows air from the mattress to pass through the coverlet to the patient. Adjacent the polymeric member is another layer comprising a spacer fabric. When used in combination with a mattress, the side edges of the coverlet are formed to provide a drip edge without external seams. In the preferred embodiment the coverlet is attached to the bottom cover or other portion of a mattress by a zipper but, may be attached to the mattress by suitable means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Having described the invention in general terms, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view, with parts broken away, illustrating a bed having an inflatable mattress according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view with the central portion thereof broken away taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the construction of the coverlet of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 2 showing the edge of the coverlet of the present invention attached to a bed; and

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of an embodiment of the present invention in which there is an air filled mattress having alternating air chambers.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

The present inventions now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which preferred embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be through and complete and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to the elements throughout.

One aspect of the present invention is directed to a coverlet having a moisture wicking fabric that has a moisture vapor permeable polymeric membrane attached thereto and a spacer fabric underlayment. More specifically, reference is made to FIG. 3 wherein there is shown a mattress coverlet 10 having a moisture wicking fabric 12. A microporous polymeric membrane 14 is attached to one side of the moisture wicking fabric 12. A spacer fabric 16 is placed adjacent the other side of the polymeric membrane 14. The moisture wicking fabric 12 faces up toward the patient for overall breathability and wicking and the spacer fabric underlayment faces down toward the mattress or other support surface.

The moisture wicking fabric 12 may be woven or non-woven. A preferred example of such a moisture wicking fabric is polyester. One example of such a material is known by the trade name Cool-Max® by Investa. It should be understood that the moisture wicking fabric may be a blend of various fibers such as polyester and nylon but in all embodiments the fabric must have the moisture wicking characteristics.

On one side of the moisture wicking fabric 12 there is attached a microporous polymeric membrane 14 which allows air to pass through the coating to the patient. The polymeric membrane is selected from the group of polytetrafluoroethlene, polyurethane, polyacrylate, and polyester. Preferably the polymeric member is coated onto the moisture wicking fabric by well-known methods. The polymeric membrane prevents moisture that is wicked from the patient into the moisture wicking fabric from passing through to the spacer fabric. The most frequently used polymeric membranes in textile-polymeric composite systems include a hydrophobic microporous polytetrafluoroethlene (PTFE) membrane produced under conditions from tight or leak-proof membranes, which results in the formation of numerous micro-cracks or micro porosity. Such membranes are from PTFE are known under the general trade name of Gore-Tex.

The spacer fabric layer 16 is a loosely woven or non-woven material forming the underlayment which lies over the mattress and allows air from the inflatable mattress through the coverlet. It is placed adjacent the other side of the polymeric membrane 14 from the moisture wicking fabric 12. The spacer fabric is preferably at least one side mesh three dimensional warp knitted fabric, for example Gerhing Textiles D3 spacer fabrics SHR701 or M7100. The mesh side should face the polymeric layer. The thickness of the spacer fabric can vary between 0.060 and 1.0 inches thick. The coverlet 10 may be sealed along the top and bottom ends.

The spacer fabric 16 may be produced on a warp knitting machine that works on the principle of rib knitting technology with two needle rows. In appropriate lapping movements rib knitting Raschel machines produce two ground fabric lengths which are joined with a spacer thread. The construction of the ground fabric, chosen according to the purpose of the final product, is achieved by combining lapping and threading in such a way as to obtain the desired strength. The yarn material used to join the plain ground fabric at the front side and the plain ground fabric at the back side with a defined “space” is mostly a stable, pressure-tolerant material. A suitable spacer yarn material is usually a polyamide or polyester monofilament. But also glass threads can be used. All other yarn materials can be used as necessary.

While the coverlet 10 may be used by itself, it is almost often used in combination with a support surface 22, such as a mattress. Referring now to FIG. 1 there is illustrated a bed 100 having an air inflatable mattress 20 resting on a support surface 22, in this case a regular mattress. As shown, the air inflatable mattress 20 extends the length of the bed 100 but it is only necessary that the air mattress extend under the weight bearing portions of the patient. A coverlet 10 is used with the air mattress 20 to reduce and treat decubitus ulcers. The bed 100 is particularly adapted for use in a hospital, nursing home, health care facility or the like. The coverlet 10 is placed over the top of air inflatable mattress 20 in the central portion thereof between the head of the bed and the foot of the bed. As shown in FIG. 1, the coverlet 10 is of sufficient length to extend under the weight bearing portions of the patient.

As shown more clearly in FIG. 2 there is provided coverlet 10 for use on an inflatable mattress 20 to reduce and treat decubitus ulcers. The mattress is maintained in an inflated condition by air supplied from compressor (blower) 24 through air conduit passage 26. The top of the mattress is provided with small apertures 28 allowing air to pass therethrough and through the coverlet 10. The number and size of the openings can be varied to balance the flow and pressure to the blower/compressor used. Airflow through apertures 28 is not impeded because of the presence of spacer fabric 16.

As shown in FIG. 2 and more clearly in FIG. 4, the width of coverlet 10 extends around the sides of the air mattress to form a drip edge 18. The outer fabric is wrapped around the spacer fabric and attached by sewing on the inside only. The structure of the spacer fabric forms the drip edge with no sewn seams on the outside of the support surface 22. A zipper, 19 Velcro® or other suitable fastener can be sewn in place at the same time. Because the zipper or sewn seams are not exposed, fluids running down the side of the mattress fall harmlessly to the floor without entering the mattress. The corners of the cover are not typically exposed to fluids and can be sewn or sealed using other traditional methods.

The coverlet 10 is beneficial on any low air loss surface. Examples of air mattresses include, for example, alternating pressure mattresses, lateral rotation surfaces, low air loss mattresses, a low air loss alternating pressure mattresses, low air loss lateral rotation mattresses. The coverlet 10 also is beneficial in terms of a cooler patient interface on a foam mattress as well.

FIG. 5 shows an embodiment of the present invention wherein air inflatable mattress 120 is an alternating pressure mattress and rests on support surface 122. Air supply 124 preferably includes a microprocessor controller and a compressed air pump to provide air to the air containing lobes 127. Air from air supply 124 is passed alternately through air conduit passages 126, 126′ to air mattress lobes 127 and some of the air escapes through apertures 129 into coverlet 10. The coverlet 10 includes a moisture wicking fabric 12 with a microporous polymeric membrane 14 attached thereto and a spacer fabric 16 adjacent the other side rests on alternating pressure air mattress 120.

Many modifications and other embodiments of the inventions set forth herein will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which these inventions pertain having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions. Therefore, it is to be understood that the inventions are not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed and that modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.