US 2353536 A
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July 11 1944. PID. ABBOTT ETAL Hl'osPITAL INCUBATOR Filed Nov. l, 1941 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 SnvcntorS Pdl l). bof and Patented July 1l, 1944 Paul D. Abbott, Roslindalc, and Mary W. Graney, Jamaica Plain, Mass., asslgnors to John Chapin, Horace S. Frazer, and John MacGregor, as cotrustees Application November 1, 1941, Serial No. 417,524
In the advance of obstetrical practice and the care of premature or underweight infants. the demand for improved efficiency in the so-called baby incubator has become increasingly insistent.
Infants enclosed in devices having opaque walls have been only partially visible through windows or slides permissive of meagre view. Nurses assigned to the highly responsible task of caring for these cases often have charge of a number of these little incubator patients at a time. Attention is thus divided between several incubators or between one or two of them and other cases requiring frequent attention. The condition of the infant, as well as that of the instrumented interior in which it is enclosed requires the frequent watching for change for better or for worse, and what might be a slight accident to a baby in an open crib, might be speedily fatal if not detected and counteracted.
Along with controlled temperature and humidity of atmosphere and the possibility of its modification as by oxygen, the free frequent fulllength visibility of the baby in the incubator and its enclosed instruments is of highest importance. Visibility from a wide range of angles is the price of safety so that a nurse, even in passing, can get a full view of the patient and the ,interior occupied by it. This interior is serviced as a basis of atmospheric control by delicate instruments for indicating its condition. While automatic to a considerable extent it is important to observe critical conditions so that the nurse may supply the intelligence factor of setting and adjusting the supply ventilator and auxiliary balance from time to time. y
Our invention contemplates an incubator having such visibility to a high degree. Our concept.y
includes the provision of optical factors which make head to foot and wide' angled inspection possible and easy. a
As illustrative of our invention we have shown in the accompanying drawings an embodiment of proven satisfaction in practical hospital use and of which Fig. 1 is a view of an incubator according to our invention as seen from above with wide angle vision indicated in broken lines.
Fig. 2 is a view from one side of the same.
Fig. 3 is a longitudinal section on the line 3 3, of Fig. 1.
Fig. l is a cross section on line 4 4, of Fig. 2.
Fig. 5 shows a similar section on line 5--5, of Fig. 2, wide angle vision lines being indicated as in Fig. 1, and
Fig. 6 is a fragmentary view in partial longitudinal section through one of the ventilator slides.
In the incubator illustrated in the drawings we have indicated at l a standard-dimension oblong box in which the bed of the infant is made up. We form the interior of the upper wall edges of the box with a supporting flange 2 carrying a strip 3 preferably of cushioning or compressible and insulating material, such as rubber. On this strip and tting just within the walls there is removably supported, when the incubator is arranged for use, the lower edge Il of an enclosing shell.
The shell preferably includes rigid insulating end members 4 which may also be transparent, if desired. These may consist of a generally rectan'gular lower portion into which is merged a semi-circular'upper portion so that its upper curved edge may constitute the end support of the semi-cylindrical portion of the transparent wall or covering 9. This portion constitutes a rcoflike area which is of minimum surface re-v ilecting effect and has dependent rectangular areas lu enclosing the lateral or side spaces between the end membersrt. The interiors of in;- cubators according to our invention are clearly visible through wide angles of observation as indicated by the broken crossed lines in Figs. l and 5 of the drawings. The semi-cylindric area permits observation radially or from awide range of positions with a minimum of surface reection so that instrument readings may be accurately made.
Along the top ,of the semi-cylindrical roof area we preferably provide a iiat metal strip 5 disposed in mutually bracing relation to the tops of the rigid ends 4 and acting somewhat as a ridge pole for the semi-cylindrical part of the transparent Wall or covering which is bent or molded to t the upper parts of the semi-cylindrical ends.
The semi-cylindrical portion of the shell is severed longitudinally, in whole or in part, and the free edge reinforced by a flat metal strip 6 which has riveted to its ends the quarter circle bows l which connect it to a corresponding longitudinal strip 8 hinged to the strip 5. We thus provide a large longitudinal door D upwardly swinging to give free access to the` incubator interior. This door may be drawn tightly shut by clasps I2 or like fastenings to prevent accidental loss of the balanced atmospheric factor of the interior. Preferably the bows 1 and the strip 6 are pro-- vided with strips of suitable sealing material, such as sponge rubber.
At what may be called the foot end, the wall about half Way up is perforated and fitted with a 'frictioning slide I3. The slide I3v is guided between the edges of a pair of spaced metal strips 30 one on each side oi a. row of periorations through the head end =wall into the incubator interior. a relatively soft rubber strip 3| which can be Vplaced upon any needed compression by the screws 32. AThe slide I3 is provided with a short slot in which a stop screw I3 is lodged for limiting the throw of the slide by lateral pressure or its knob I32 in causing its own perforations to register with or block on those through the underlying wall end. In the strip 5 which runs along the top of the enclosure we provide adjacent the opposite end of the incubator another ventilator covered by a slide i4. 5
The head end carries on its inner face a pair of delivery pipes l5 disposed as an inverted U and having at their central point of branching an intake connection i6 through the head. wall and adapted to have attachment to a portable oxygen tank or to a wall tting where such are provided. We may thus make our. incubator available as an oxygen tent. We also preferably mount on the inner face of the head end a ther- -mometer Il of the wet and dry bulb type.
At the opposite or foot end of the incubator we provide a heater unit within a perforated cage i8. The unit itself consists oi a pair of insulated sockets let through the foot end wall. We usually run in them small carbon bulbs i9 and 2li as generating more heat and providing one more easily shieldable than manyother types of bulbs. The circuit for the bulb i9 is controlled by a manual switch 2| for maintaining a proper tem- Under the metal strips 30 we dispose- The cylindrlcity of the upper part of the transparent shell merging into its vertical sides makes possible a rapid and accurate inspection of the instruments and the condition of the baby who can be seen from head to foot. as suggested by the arrow lines A in Figs. 1 and 5. By locating our door D in a zone of transverse curvature a nurse on duty can conveniently reach in Ywith one or both hands to arrange the bed oradminister to the patient without removing the shell or losing any considerable balance in the atmos-L pher'ic factors under regulation.
The general design and the details of nttings may be varied to suit different conditions or needs without departing from the-spirit of our invention.
What we therefore claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
l. A baby incubator comprising a base, a wall on said base to deiine a shallow box-like compartment substantially of a size to receive an iniants bed, said wall including an internally disposed shoulder, and a shell to fit within said wall to be supported by said shoulder to seal the interior of the incubator against the ingress of air, Asaid shell comprising a frame including end walls and a plurality of end wall connecting members, the
bottom edge of said shell'being dened by two of said members and the bottom edge of said end walls, and a transparent wall carried by said end walls and said frame to complete saidshell.
2. The incubator of claim 1, in which one of said end walls hasair or like inlets in the Alower part,V the other of said walls supports means for perature in the incubator interior against norv malexternal radiation or heat loss.
'Ihe other bulb 2|) fed by a branch circuit 20' is automatically controlled by the thermostat 22 also in said branch circuit and is of an adjustable type providing for the maintenance of any'balance of heat, if and when required, above the constant radiation from the lamp i9 and the bal' ance of normal heat losses in operation.
The insulation sockets before referred to may be of molded soft rubber formed in a flanged unit 33 the flanges of which may be readily squeezed through an aperture through the end wall. The assembly is thus completely insulated at that point. At their opposite ends the units 33 are open for the assembly of circuit contacts for the lines.
As a simple but elcient basis of humidication we mount on the perforated metal cage i8 a metal tray 23 containing wicking or like absorbent material for taking up for evaporation the drip from the feed pipe 24 leading from the exterior water cup 25, the drip from which is controlled by a valved regulator 26.
For convenience in lifting the shell il off from its base l we provide handles 21 adjacent the upper edge of the rigid end members 4.
The cord 28 with plug 29 enters the housing in which the switch 2l is mounted and from which a circuit (not detailed) includes the lamp i9.
Another circuit M cut in on the feed of the cord 28 includes the switch of the thermostat controlling atmospheric conditions within the incub'ator, and vent means in the upper part 0f the shell adjacent the last-named wall to permit the escape of air from the incubator.
3. The incubator of claim 1, in which a cushioning and sealing layer of resilient material is .disposed between the shoulder and the shoulder contacting portions of the frame.
4. A baby incubator comprising a. base, a wall on said base to dene a shallow box-like compartment substantially of a size to receive an infants bed and dening the sides therefor, and a shell to be supported by said wall, said shell comprising a. frame including end walls and end wall connecting members, the bottom edge of said shell being dened by two ofY said members and the bottom edges of said end walls, and a 'transparent wall carried by said end walls and said frame to complete, said shell, that portion of the incubatordened by the base and by the connecting members establishing the bottom edge of said! shell when supported on said base being suiiiciently shallow so that an infant lying on a bed therein is visible above and may be contacted above the plane defined thereby.
5. A baby incubator comprising a base, a wall on said base to define a shallow box-like compartment substantially of a size to receive an infants bed and a. shell, said shell comprising a frame including end walls, a top member interconnecting said end walls, and a. pair of bottom mem? bers interconnecting-said end-walls, the bottom edges of said last-named members and the lbot-V tom edges of said end walls and the top edge of said wall on said base meeting to establish a tight joint, a. transparent door hinged to said top member, and a transparent wall carried by said frame.
PAUL D. ABBofr'r. f Maar w. GRANEY.