US 2209801 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. VALVERDE July so, 1940.
BED CRADLE Filed Sept. 24, 1937 INVENTOR ATTORNEY Patented July 30, 1940 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 4 Claims.
This invention relates to bed cradles which are used for supporting the covers over the occupant of a bed.
One object of the invention is to provide an improved bed cradle which supports the covers for a substantial part of the length of the mattress without having any structure on the side of the mattress where it would inconvenience a person getting into or out of bed. The invention comprises a novel frame construction which supports the central portion of the covers from the foot-end of the mattress for a distance somewhat greater than half of the length of the mattress so that the covers drape down over the sides and foot of the mattress and around the shoulders of an occupant of the bed. No part of the frame extends past the side of the mattress and when the covers which hang down along the side of the bed are turned back, entrance to the bed is unobstructed.
Another object of the invention is to provide a bed cradle with improved meansfor heating the air space under the covers supported by the cradle. In accordance with one feature of the invention the space under .the covers is warmed by a radiant heater located at a low position so that the air which is warmed by contact with the heater circulates in convection currents while the covers enclosing the space have their temperature raised by the convection currents and by the radiant heat to re-radiate heat into the enclosed space and more promptly warm the con tained air. clear electric lamp with incandescent filaments.
This invention is for the treatment of peripheral vascular diseases and other circulator dis turbances, and for insomnia, but it will be understood that the invention is not limited to such uses.
The space under the covers is heat-insulated by the blankets, and the invention includes a thermostatic control which maintains that space at an approximately constant optimum temperature by the-conduction heating of the air which rises and circulates through the space, and by the radiation heating of the boundaries of the space by the light and heat waves given oif from the heater.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will appear or be pointed .out as the specification proceeds.
In the accompanying drawing, forming part hereof:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a bed on which the covers are supported by a cradle embodying the invention, the covers being cut away to show a thermostatically controlled heater attached to the bed cradle;
Fig. 2 is a reduced perspective view of the cradle and heater of Fig. 1 Without the bed or The radiant heater is preferably a covers, the heater being at the preferred location which puts it on a level with the top of the mattress when the cradle is in use as in Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the thermostatically controlled heater; and
Fig. '4 is an enlarged diagrammatic view of the thermostat shown in the other views, and a wiring diagram of the heater.
The bed cradle is a frame III for supporting covers above a bed H, and in the preferred embodiment of the invention the frame I is made of tubing bent into a double loop and to the approximate form of the letter C. Thin-wall tubing is most satisfactory. Experience has shown that three-quarter inch tubing of twenty-gauge steel is highly satisfactory because it is strong enough to resist permanent distortion in ordinary use and is at the same time light enough to be easily carried by women nurses. A frame of such tubing is somewhat resilient under heavy loads but does not sag substantially under the weight of the ordinary covers on a bed.
The tubing is bent to form a bottom loop 12 that extends under the mattress l3 and rests on the springs of the bed II. This bottom loop resting on the bed supports the cradle, and the weight of the mattress I3 resting on the bottom loop holds the cradle against overturning. The loop l2 has upwardlyextending end portions l4 that terminate in prongs l5 (Fig. 3).
The upper portion of the tubing is longer than the lower portion of the tubing and is bent to form a loop ll that has downwardly extending ends l8 which slip over the prongs l5 and form a detachable connection between the upper and lower portions of the bed cradle. The advantage of this detachable feature is that the parts of the bed cradle can be separated and nested for storage in a small space when not in use. I
The upper loop I! is not parallel with the lower loop in the illustrated embodiment of the invention, but rises to a maximum height over the region of the bed in the vicinity of an occupants knees so that the occupant can bend his knees Without danger of striking the frame.
When the bed cradle is in use, covers it, which may comprise several blankets for effective heat insulation, are spread over the upper loop l1 and tucked in at the sides and foot of the mattress. At their upper end the covers drape over the chest and shoulders of the occupant of the bed. In order to enter or leave the bed it is only necessary to partly pull out the covers on one side, and there are no obstructing frame members'in the way, as has been the case in the prior art. Bed cradles are often used to prevent painful areas from being touched.
Fig. 3 shows a heater 20 comprising a panel 2| on which are mounted a thermostat 22 and one or more electric lamps 23. It is a feature of the invention that the space under the covers is warmed by a radiant heater. Since the heater operates in the space with the occupant, it is desirable that it heat the space'with a minimum rise in temperature of the heater above the desired temperature of the air space. The radiant heater shown in Figs. 1-4 accomplishes this result advantageously by virtue of its design and the location of the heating elements. Much of the energy from an incandescent filament goes off as radiant energy, and this energy heats the covers enclosing the air space. The warmed covers heat the adjacent air so that the opti mum air temperature is reached much sooner than if the heating were done entirely or principally with circulation of the air by a very hot heating element.
In addition to the heat distributed by radiation, the heater 20 also uses convection currents -of the air in the space under the covers, and the heating elements are located at a low level in the air space so as to obtain maximum efiiciency in the creation of convection currents.
The lamps 23 are long lamps of the kind commonly employed for lighting show cases. These lamps have high-temperature filaments but the cylindrical glass sides of the lamps do not become as intensely heated as in the case of smaller incandescent bulbs. The glass of the lamps 23 is preferably clear instead of frosted in order to obtain as much radiant heat as possible while keeping the glass of the lamps at a low temperature.
The lamps 23 have their ends held in receptacles 25 which are fastened to the panel 2!. A guard comprising rods 21 secured at their ends to supports 28 prevents the feet of an occupant of the bed from coming into contact with the lamps. The supports 28 are connected to the panel 2! and have side surfaces for hearing against the ve tically extending portions I8 of the bed cradle, these surfaces being so spaced from one another that the portions l8 have to be sprimg apart slightly in order to insert the supports 28 between them. By this construction the heater is in effect clipped in place at the chosen location between the portions l8 of the bed cradle.
The panel 2i has a smooth surface, preferably white, for reflecting heat and light, and is made of material which is an insulator of both heat and electricity. At one end the panel extends beyond the vertical portion of the bed cradle, and the thermostat 22 is mounted on this extension of the panel and in the shadow of the frame portion I8 where the thermostat is protected from radiant heat from the lamps 23.
Fig. 4 shows the construction of the thermostat 22. An imperforate metal cover 30 encloses a bimetal element 3| which is attached to the cover. An electric contact 32 carried by the free end of the bimetal element Si is connected by a pigtail 34 to a conductor 35 which connects with the receptacles 25 at one side of the lamps 23. The contact 32 is insulated from the bimetal element 3|. A conductor 36 connects the other side of the lamps 23 with a drop cord or cable 31.
An adjustable contact 38 On a screw 39 is adjusted from the rear of the panel 2| by turningthe head of the screw 39. A condenser M is connected across the contacts 32 and 38 to control arcing. The contact 38 is connected with the drop cord or cable 37 by a conductor 43. There is a Bakelite cover plate 44 over the back of the panel 2| to cover the wiring and the mounting screws which connect the thermostat 22, receptacles 25,
and guard supports 28 to the panel. There is an opening in the cover plate 44 to expose the head of thermostat adjusting screw 39.
It will be apparent that the invention is not limited to the particular embodiments which have been illustrated and described, and that features of the invention may be used without others.
1. Bed cover-supporting means comprising a frame formed of tubing bent into a loop which extends from the footend of a mattress across the major portion of the length of the mattress, the sides of said loop being curved to give the loop a maximum spacing from the mattress in the region of the knees of an occupant of the bed, the ends of said loop curving downward past the foot of the mattress and then curving inward under the mattress and being formed into another loop substantially shorter than the upper loop and located under the mattress.
2. A thermostatically controlled heater composed of clear glass electric lamp heating elements with incandescent filaments, a lamp guard of metal rods, a bimetal thermostat with a metal cover; said lamps, guard and thermostat mounted on a heat and electrical insulated panel, said combination, except the thermostat, held horizontally by metal clips between the two upright members of a bed cradle of metal tubing formed into an approximate letter 0, said tubing divided into an upper and a lower loop, said upper loop longer than said lower loop; said thermostat mounted on an extension of said panel and beyond one of the metal uprights of said cradle.
3. A full-length bed cradle for supporting the covers along substantially the entire length of the body of an occupant of a bed, said cradle comprising a frame having an upper; loop with side members that extend lengthwise of the bed over the major part of the length of the mattress and that extend downward past the foot of the mattress and then under the mattress in a lower loop substantially shorter than the upper loop, the cross bar of said lower loop being between the foot of the mattress and the region of the knees of the occupant of the bed, and the downwardly extending portions of said side members providing the only support for the upper loop so that ingress to and egress from the bed are unobstructed from either side by the cover-supporting structure.
4. Apparatus for maintaining a substantially constant temperature under the covers of a bed, said apparatus comprising a frame that holds the covers spaced from the mattress along the center region of the bed and for a substantial portion of the length of the mattress so as to form an air space under the covers, and means for heating the space under the covers and producing a distribution of the heat by both radiation and convection within that space, said means comprising one or more lamp heater units located adjacent the top surface of the mattress in position to heat the walls of the space by radiant energy that causes said walls to re-radiate heat, and a thermostat that controls the operation of the radiant heaters, the thermostat being supported by theframe in the path of the recirculating convection currents but shielded from the radiation of the heater unit and thermally insulated against conduction of heat from the heater unit, so that said thermostat is responsive only to the temperature of the air under the covers.