Title:
Climbing bar
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A climbing bar is disclosed which may be affixed to a medical examination table to assist patients in getting on or off of the table or rotating to sit upon the table. The climbing bar of the instant invention may be adjusted such that the handle of the climbing bar is either secured in a horizontal position when not in use or in a vertical position when in use.



Inventors:
Garb, Daren (Modesto, CA, US)
Bushek Jr., George Kenneth (East Fish Hill, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/286015
Publication Date:
09/24/2009
Filing Date:
09/26/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CONLEY, FREDRICK C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gene R. Woodle (Rapid City, SD, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A climbing bar for use with a table comprising: (1) a bracket which is affixed to the side of the table; and (2) a handle rotatably affixed to the bracket such that the handle may be positioned such that the handle either projects above the plane of the top surface of the table or does not project above the plane of the top surface of the table and may be temporarily affixed in either position.

2. A climbing bar for use with a table comprising: (1) a bracket which is affixed to the side of the table, the bracket having a hole in the portion of said bracket nearest the top of the table; (2) a handle rotatably affixed to the bracket such that the handle may be positioned such that the handle either projects above the plane of the top surface of the table or does not project above the plane of the top surface of the table; and (3) a retractable pin affixed to said handle and the tip of the retractable pin being capable of engaging the hole in said bracket to secure said handle in position such that said handle projects above the plane of the top surface of the table.

3. The climbing bar of claim 2 in which a spring is affixed to said retractable pin such that the spring tends to force the tip of said retractable pin into the hole in said bracket and said retractable pin may be pulled such that the force of said spring is overcome and the tip of said retractable pin may be removed from the hole in said bracket allowing said handle to be moved.

4. The climbing bar of claim 2 in which there is a second hole in said bracket in the portion of said bracket below the top of the table such that said retractable pin may engage the second hole and secure said handle in a position such that said handle does not project above the top surface of the table.

5. The climbing bar of claim 4 in which a spring is affixed to said retractable pin such that the spring tends to force the tip of said retractable pin into the hole in said bracket or the second hole in said bracket and said retractable pin may be removed form the hole in said bracket or the second hole in said bracket and said retractable pin may be pulled such that the force of said spring is overcome and the tip of said retractable pin may be removed from the hole in said bracket or the second hole in said bracket allowing said handle to be moved.

6. A climbing bar for use with a table comprising; (1) a bracket which is affixed to the side of the table; (2) an arm affixed to the bracket which protrudes outward from the table; (3) a plate affixed to the arm, the plate having a hole in the portion of said plate closest to the top of the table; (4) a handle rotatably affixed to the plate such that the handle may be positioned such that the handle either projects above the plane of the top surface of the table or does not project above the plane of the top surface of the table; and (5) a retractable pin affixed to said handle and the tip of the retractable pin being capable of engaging the hole in said plate to secure said handle in position such that said handle projects above the plane of the top surface of the table.

7. The climbing bar of claim 6 in which a spring is affixed to said retractable pin such that the spring tends to force the tip of said retractable pin into the hole in said plate and said retractable pin may be pulled such that the force of said spring is overcome and the tip of said retractable pin may be removed from the hole in said plate allowing said handle to be moved.

8. The climbing bar of claim 6 in which there is a second hole in said plate in the portion of said plate below the top of the table such that said retractable pin may engage the second hole and secure said handle in a position such that said handle does not project above the top surface of the table.

9. The climbing bar of claim 8 in which a spring is affixed to said retractable pin such that the spring tends to force the tip of said retractable pin into the hole in said plate or the second hole in said plate and said retractable pin may be removed form the hole in said plate or the second hole in said plate and said retractable pin may be pulled such that the force of said spring is overcome and the tip of said retractable pin may be removed from the hole in said plate or the second hole in said plate allowing said handle to be moved.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application relies for priority upon the Provisional Patent Application filed by Daren Robert Garb, Christie Garb, and George Bushek entitled climbing bar for an outpatient medical table, Ser. No. 61/038,464, filed Mar. 21, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to patient examination tables and more specifically to a climbing bar to assistant patients in getting on and off of an examination table.

2. Background Information

Every day thousands of patients climb on to and off of an examination table. The top of an examination table is sufficiently high that a doctor or other medical professional may examine that patient at a comfortable height. Some examination tables have a footrest to assist the patient in getting on and off the table, but such actions may still be difficult, particularly when a patient may be debilitated or disabled. In many cases the patient must reach a sitting position at the end of the table. This involves rotating from a position facing the table to a position with the patient's back to the table.

Because patients are often debilitated or disabled when getting on and off an examination table, it may be difficult for the patient to climb onto or off of the table or to rotate into a sitting on the table. In addition to the potential difficulties in patients performing these activities, there is a real possibility that a patient may be injured or aggravate an existing injury in getting on or off of an examination table.

One method of helping patients in getting onto or off of an examination table is to provide a handle which is affixed to the examination table. One such device is disclosed in the patent to Sebastien (U.S. Pat. No. 7,039,971; May 9, 2006). The climbing bar of the instant invention is believed to solve a variety of problems involved in having a patient climb onto or off of an examination table or in rotating into a sitting position on such a table by providing a sturdy handle which a patient may grasp to assist in accomplishing these activities.

The ideal climbing bar should be capable of providing a handle to assist a patient in getting onto, getting off of, and rotating upon a medical examination table. The ideal climbing bar should also be capable of moving from an in use position or an out of use position such that it is out of the way when not in use. The ideal climbing bar should also be simple, inexpensive, rugged, and easy to use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The climbing bar of the instant invention includes a bracket with which the device may be affixed to the side of the examination table near the foot of the table. An arm is affixed to the bracket and protrudes outward from the bracket. A plate is affixed to the arm and a handle is rotatably affixed to the plate by an axle bolt such that the handle may rotate in a plane parallel to the side of the examination table. The plate includes an upper hole which is generally above the axle bolt and a lower hole which is generally rearward of the axle bolt. (The foot of the examination table is considered to be rearward of the head of the table.) The upper hole and the lower hole are the same distance from the axle bolt.

A pin is provided which is affixed to the handle such that the longitudinal axis of the pin may be aligned with either the upper hole or the lower hole. When the handle is in a horizontal position, the end of the pin fits into the lower hole and secures the handle in that position. When the handle is in a vertical position, the end of the pin fits into the upper hole and secures the handle in that position.

When the handle is in the horizontal position or not in use, it is secured by the pin such that it is out of the way. When the handle is in the vertical position or in use, it may be used by a patient to assist the patient in getting onto or off of the examination table or in rotating to a sitting position or for any other useful purpose.

It will be understood that the climbing bar of the instant invention could be affixed to either side of the examination table or that there could be a climbing bar on both sides of the table. It will also be understood that the climbing bar of the instant invention could be used for a variety of purposes other than for an examination table without significant modification.

One of the major objects of the climbing bar of the instant invention is provide a handle to assist a patient in getting onto, getting off of, and rotating upon a medical examination table.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide a climbing bar capable of moving from an in use position to an out of use position such that it is out of the way when not in use.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide a climbing bar which is simple, inexpensive, rugged, and easy to use.

These and other features of the invention will become apparent when taken in consideration with the following detailed description and the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of the climbing bar of the instant invention with the handle in a horizontal position;

FIG. 2 is an end view of the climbing bar of the instant invention with the handle in a vertical position; and

FIG. 3 is a rear view of the instant invention in use on an examination table.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings, FIGS. 1, through 3, there is shown a preferred form of the climbing bar of the instant invention. The instant invention is described and illustrated as being used with a medical examination table, but it could be used for a variety of similar purposes with little or no modification. The foot of the examination table is considered rearward and the head of the examination table is considered rearward. The examination table represents any of a number of conventional examination tables. The climbing bar of the instant invention could be added to an existing table or incorporated into the table design by the manufacturer.

Now referring to FIG. 1, a side view of the climbing bar of the instant invention is shown. A bracket 2 is affixed to the side of an examination table (not shown in this view) near the foot of the examination table using a plurality of bolts 4. A number of other fastening methods could be used including screws or adhesive. A plate 5 is affixed to the bracket 2 by an arm 6 which protrudes perpendicular from the plane of the side of the examination table. A handle 8 is rotatably affixed to the plate 5 by an axle bolt 10. There is an upper hole 12 in the plate 5 which is above the axle bolt 10 and a lower hole 14 in said plate 5 which is rearward of said axle bolt 10 and the same distance from said axle bolt 10 as the upper hole 12.

Still referring to FIG. 1, a pin 16 is slidably affixed to the handle 8 through a hole in said handle 8. The longitudinal axis of the pin 16 is parallel with the longitudinal axis of said axle bolt 10 and, when said handle 8 is horizontal, said pin 16 is aligned with and fits within the lower hole 14. When said handle 8 is vertical, said pin 16 is aligned with and fits within said upper hole 12. There is an upper stop 20 protruding from said plate 5 which engages said pin 16 and prevents it from rotating beyond its position when said pin 16 engages said upper hole 12. There is a lower stop 22 protruding from said plate 5 which engages said pin 16 and prevents it from rotating beyond its position when said pin 16 engages said lower hole 14. A grip 24 is provided at end of said handle 8 which is away from said axle bolt 10 to improve a user's grip upon said handle 8. In the preferred embodiment the grip 24 is machined into said handle 8, but it could be made from plastic molded to fit or some other material.

Still referring to FIG. 1, when said handle 8 is in the horizontal position as shown in this Figure, said pin 16 engages said lower hole 14 and secures said handle 8 in the horizontal position. This horizontal position of said handle 8 is considered the storage position and ensures that said handle 8 is out of the way when not in use. Said handle 8 may be rotated about said axle bolt 10 to a vertical position as indicated by arrow A. Said pin 16 then engages said upper hole 12 and secures said handle 8 in the vertical or in use position. When in this position a patient may grasp the grip 24 and use said handle 8 for assistance in climbing onto or off of the examination table or for other actions such as rotating to sit at the end of the examination table.

Now referring to FIG. 2, an end view of the climbing bar of the instant invention is shown with said handle 8 in the vertical position. This view shows one method by which said bracket 2 may be affixed to the side wall of an examination table 30 using the bolts 4. In this embodiment a rear plate 32 is used on the inner surface of the examination table 30 to help secure said bracket 2. Other methods of securing said bracket 2 to said examination table 30 could be used including screws or adhesive. This view better shows the configuration of the arm 6 and said plate 5. Said pin 16 includes a pin handle 34 and a pin collar 36 which protrude outward from said handle 8. A pin shaft 38 passes through a hole in said handle 8 and is sufficiently long to engage both said upper hole 12 and said lower hole 14. A pin washer 40 is affixed to the pin shaft 38 such that when the end of said pin shaft 38 has engaged said upper hole 12 (or said lower hole 14) the pin washer 40 is in contact with said plate 5. A pin spring 42 is interposed between said pin washer 40 and said handle 8. The pin spring 42 engages said pin washer 40 and tends to force said pin shaft 38 into said upper hole 12 (or said lower hole 14). By pulling on the pine handle 34 an operator may overcome the force of said pin spring 42 and pull said pin shaft 38 from said upper hole 12 (or said lower hole 14) which allows said handle 8 to be moved.

Still referring to FIG. 2, this Figure better shows how said upper stop 20 and said lower stop 22 may engage said pin shaft 38 and prevent said handle 8 from rotating beyond said upper stop 20 and said lower stop 22. Said axle bolt 10 passes through a hole in said handle 8 and the end of said axle bolt 10 is affixed to said plate 5. A plurality of axle washers 41 are interposed on said axle bolt 10 between said handle 8 and said plate 5 to insure that said handle 8 moves in a plane parallel to the side of said examination table 30.

Referring now to FIG. 3, an end view of the instant invention in use on an examination table is shown. Although there are a number of different table configurations, a typical version of said examination table 30 often includes a top 50 and a step 52 which patients may use to assist in climbing onto the top 50. Said examination table 30 is not considered part of the instant invention, but this Figure shows one method of using the climbing bar of the instant invention with said examination table 30. There is a version of the climbing bar of the instant invention on either side of the foot of said examination table 30. In this Figure both of said handles 8 are in the vertical or in use position. The climbing bar of the instant invention on the left is as is described above. The climbing bar of the instant invention on the right is a mirror image of the one on the left. As may be seen a patient could easily step onto the step 52 and grasp said handles 8 to assist in climbing onto the top 50. Said handles 8 could further be used to steady the patient while the patient rotates to sit upon said top 50 which would help prevent the patient from falling or otherwise aggravating an existing injury. The climbing bar of the instant invention should be constructed such that said handle 8 could withstand application of a perpendicular force of at least 300 pounds.

In the preferred embodiment, all elements are made from steel, but other materials having the same strength and ability to be cleaned could be used such as aluminum. Although the climbing bar of the instant invention is shown as being affixed to an examination table using a bracket, the device could also be incorporated into the table by a manufacturer. The instant invention is also shown as being used with a medical examination table, but the device could also be used with other articles without significant or any modification,

While preferred embodiments of this invention have been shown and described above, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications may be made in these embodiments without departing from the spirit of the present invention.