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Publication numberUS2470721 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 17, 1949
Filing dateAug 15, 1947
Priority dateAug 15, 1947
Publication numberUS 2470721 A, US 2470721A, US-A-2470721, US2470721 A, US2470721A
InventorsPragel John Louis
Original AssigneePragel John Louis
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable infant incubator
US 2470721 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

' May 17, 1949. J. L. PRAGEL 2,470,721

PORTABLE INFANT INCUBATOR 7 Filed Aug. 15, 1947 s Sheets-Sheet 1 I INVEN TOR.

Jo/m/ A. EAGEL May 17, 1949. J. L. PRAGEL 2,470,721

" PORTABLE INFANT INCUBATOR Filed Aug. 15, 1947 s sheets-sheet 2 JO/M/ Z P24 5;

4 a 1 w firfQEA/EY May 17, 1949. J, PRAGEL PORTABLE INFANT INCUBATOR 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Aug; 15, 1947 P1 48 T/@ MA TEE/4 L.

INVENTOR. JOHN .4 1 24654.

Patented May 17, 1949 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE PORTABLE INFANT INGUBA'E'OR John Louis Pragel, Baltimore-Md.

Application August 15, 1947, Serial No. 768 61 7- Claims.

This .invention'relates to a portable baby incubator which is. particularly useful in the handlin'g and treatmentwof prematurely born infants.

It is theobjectof thepresent invention to provide a portablebaby :incu bator which is readily transportable from place to place and which may function as an infants bed or ambulance for prematurely born. infants, accommodating them 101*"19101361 treatment from a. time. immediately following their birth :to such. a time when they are ina suificientlyhealthy and mature state to bedisposed in -aconventional baby crib or hassinet.

Itis a further object of the invention to provide a compact,; rugged andeconomical portable baby incubator construction"which may :be carried easily and convenientlyand'disposed on the seat of an automobilegtif needsbe, with 'no shock or vibration to theinfant while'maintaining the interiorof the incubator at optimum temperature and humidity conditions for the benefit of the infant.

It is another object of the invention to provide a crib of sturdy construction' which lends itself to rapid cleaning. and effective sterilization.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a portable baby incubator with a removable rackforsupporting a small oxygen tank forie'edin'g controlled amounts of oxygen into the incubator enclosure with adequate moisture the gas which is most favorable to the breathing needs of the infant. The invention also makes provision for operatingunder controlled temperature conditions -:within the enclosure, which may be obtained by the use of hot water bottles or' chemical water heaters, so that the benefits ofthe invention may be realized wherever an infant may beborn and' wherever hot water isavailable as: an incident to the" delivery operations.

Itis another object of the'present invention to provide an incubator construction having a plurality of openings provided with closures so that proper ventilating effects maybe attained. Some ofthese: openingsare "provided with transparent closures toaen able the infant to be viewed at all'times'andiare conveniently operated to open position when the-infant requires attention. These openings .are iridependent of and collateral to the'full opening of the incubator when the infant requiresrmore"extensive attention.

It'is a further object of the invention'to provide a portable incubator construction which lends itsel Fto the. alternative use of the device asva. crib or an ambulance for transporting the Cal baby, with orwithout the oxygen supply attached thereto, whereupon a specially provided handle is employed in order to: facilitate the lifting of the unit according to thedifierence in the center of gravity thereof under these different circumstances of use, with or without the oxygen tank attachment applied thereto.

Other objects and-purposes Will appear from the detailed description-of the invention following hereinafter, taken in. conjunction with the accompanying drawi'ngs',:v wherein Fig. 1' is a perspective view of the portable incubator in accordance with thepresent invention viewedfro'm the head end of the unit;

Fig. 2 is a longitudinal sectional'vi'ew of the unit with certain parts in. elevation;

'Fig. 3' is a-vertical sectional-view along line t3 of Fig. v2;

Fig.4 is a perspective 'view of the removable rack fitting within the main lower casing of the incubator; and

"Fig. 5 is a fr'ont elevation of the detachable support for the oxygen'tank-which may be alterna tively mounted on and removed from the head-end of the portable incubator',:as shown in Fig. 1.

In Fig. 1 is shown-aportabl'e baby incubator which may be formed? ofany suitable sheet material such as metaL'fiber, plywood or the like, but which in the preferred embodiment of the invention is formed ofsheetaluminumto render the unitlight in weight and capable of easy and thoroughcleaning and sterilization.

The main body of the incubator is formed of a lower rectangular box-like casing l,'th'e open top of which is adapted to be covered by a hood in the form of agable-shaped closure 2 which is hinged along one of the sides of the casing l. The casing I is formed by a bottom wall In, side walls H and IL'end wall l3 at the foot of the unitand'end' wall I at the head end ofthe unit. Cornerframes W are provided at each of the bottom corners of the casin'e to strengthen'tl'iesameand are additionally fitted with rounded: supports l5 of metalor rubber topermit the incubator to be placed on any surface without scratching or marring thereof. The walls are assembled as shown by any knovm fabricating =pro'cesses and in the case of a metallic unit, the 'same'may be integrated by means of rivets or by spot welding.

As clearly shown in Figs. 2 and 3, the endw'all i3 is provided withan opening I! and a piece of screening It is affixed to theinside wall of the casing over'this opening. A slidable gate [9 is adapted to slide in: horizontal guides I 8 "and I 8 provided on the inner side of wall l3, and a handle l3, bent transversely from the plane of the gate It, may be manipulated to vary the size of the portion of the opening I! which is uncovered by the gate H! as the same is shifted between the screening I6 and end wall l3 from completely closed position at the extreme left of its movement (Fig. 3) to its maximum open position at the extreme right. Thereby, the amount of circulating air within the enclosure can be accurately controlled in dependence upon the needs of the infant.

The gable-like closure 2 for covering the boxlike casing I is formed by two end walls 22 and 23, top wall 24, two inclined side walls 2| and 2| and two vertical walls 25 and 25' extending downwardly from the inclined walls 2| and 2|, respectively. A band 26 extends downwardly around the periphery of the closure to effect a close fit of the cover 2 upon the lower casing I. A plurality of hinges 3B are connected between the band 26 and the side wall ll of the casing I (Fig. 3) to permit a rotation of the closure 2 in a substantially complete arc of 180 so that access to the casing may be had without hindrance from the closure at those times when the infant requires extensive handling and attention. A secure closure of the cover on the casing may be obtained by any suitable hasp fasteners of the type used on trunks and luggage. As shown in Fig. 1, hasp elements 39 on wall |2 of the casing cooperate with overlying units 39 on the band 23 of the closure.

Openings 2! are preferably provided in both inclined walls 2| and 2| of the closure adjacent the head end of the unit, and these openings may be closed by transparent slides 28 and 28' having handles 29 and 29', respectively, to permit a to and fro sliding of these closures along guide rails an and 30, respectively, mounted on the inner surfaces of the walls 2| and 2|. End stops 3| and 32 (Fig. 2), extending within the path of the transparent slides 28 and 28' serve to limit the extent of movement of these slides before the handles 29 and 29 strike the boundaries of the openings 21 and 21, respectively. The slides, and handles 29 integrated thereto, may be formed of methyl methacrylate resin or any other transparent plastics.

A circular opening 35 is provided in the end wall 23 of the closure 2 for the purpose of accommodating a plug 31 through which is threaded a piece of rubber tubing 68 for supplying oxygen to the interior of the closure as described in detail below, which is fed to a cone 38 which may be placed in proximity to the infants face if desired.

A removablesupporting rack 4 for the infant is adapted to be readily insertable into and removable from the casing This rack, shown in perspective in Fig. 4, is formed of pairs of vertical angle upright supports 4|-42 and 4| '42' along the opposite sides of the casing. A platform 4B, which is preferably formed with downwardly extending flanges 40' along its four edges to impart strength and rigidity to the construction, is mounted between these vertical uprights and is spaced from the lower ends thereof a sufiicient distance to accommodate a hot water bottle W1 therebelow. A plurality of apertures 45 are formed in the platform 40 to facilitate the transmission of heat from the lower to the upper surface thereof. A horizontal bar 43 extends between the uprights 4| and 42 and another horizontal bar 43' extends between uprights 4| and 42'. These horizontal bars are longer than the platform 40 and only a little shorter than the length of the casing, to provide a space 48 at the foot end thereof (Fig. 2) for the accommodation of water bottles, clinical instruments or any other items necessary for the care of the infant when the device is used either as a transportable ambulance or as an incubator.

The space defined by the angular uprights 4| and 42 along the side wall l2 of the casing, is sufficient to accommodate a hot water bottle W2 lying on edge and is prevented from tilting by the provision of the horizontal bar 43. The same accommodation is made for a third hot water bottle W3 within the space defined by angular uprights M and 42 and the horizontal bar 43'. The bars 43 and 43 serve to space the platform 40 from the foot end of the casing I, so that a pad covering on the platform 40 upon which the baby is placed, disposes the infant in position for periodic observation and attention through openings 21 and 21 and slidable closures therefor 28 and 28. At the same time, the removable rack is in substantially fixed position within the casing in view of the external dimensions of the rack whether or not hot water bottles are disposed between the rack and the bottom and side walls of the casing, as shown in Fig. 3.

As shown in Fig. 5, a detachable bracket support 5 may be readily attached to the incubator when it is desirable that the infant breathe oxygen rather than ordinary air. This bracket, which is formed of a plane sheet 50 of aluminum, is provided with a reentrant hook projection 5| at the upper end thereof, which is adapted to be mounted over the upper edge of the end wall l4 of the casing I. The swinging of the closure 2 over the casing into the closed position of the unit as shown in Fig. 1, brings the band 26 in overlying relation to the plate 50 (Fig. 2) so that the bracket is fixedly attached to the unit without need for any other fastening expedients.

The plate 50 is provided with transverse flanges 52 along the sides and bottoms thereof to impart rigidity thereto. A support for a small oxygen tank of forty gallon capacity is formed by semicircular bands 53 and 53 at different levels of the plate and a reenforcing strap 54 extends from the outermost point of band 53 downwardly to band 53 and thence horizontally at 55, whereat the same is riveted at 55' to the plate 5!]. A support of similar construction is formed on the left side of the plate 5|] by semi-circular bands 56 and 56' spanned by a vertical band 51 and horizontal supporting band 58 which is riveted to the plate 50 at 58. The latter support is adapted to carry a small jar 6| tightly covered with a rubber stopper 63. The jar may be filled with water 66 to leave an air space at the top, and a glass tube 62 extends to nearly the bottom of the water through an opening in the rubber stopper 63. An outlet adapter 10 for the oxygen tank 60 is mounted on the top of the oxygen tank by means of handle H and the exhaust of oxygen through this adapter may be controlled by valve i2. The oxygen issuing from outlet 15 passes through a piece of rubber tubing 16 connected with the glass tube 62 and the oxygen bubbles into the water through the outlet end of the tube 62. The oxygen rising therefrom is led from the space in the water bottle above the level of the water 66 through tube 61 which is connected by rubber tubing 68 which is guided to the plug 31 fitting within the opening of the wall 23 of the cover. The quantity of bubbles rising in the bottle 6| offers a measure of the 5? amount of oxygen being fed into the enolQsure of the incubator and serves as a guide for the attendant to facilitate the proper administrat tion thereof. In addition, the oxygen bubbling through the water imparts a desired degree of humidity to the gas being breathedby the infant; within the enclosure.

When the condition of the infant is. such that the administration of oxygen is not necessary, the plate 59 supporting the oxygen tank 68 and water bottle 6! may be removed readily from the top edge of wall it and the outlet end of tube 68 may be removed from the plug 31. Also, the plug til and hood 3% may be removed from the inside of the closure. Thereupon, the unit may be used as a simple device for transporting the infant or for taking care of it under controlled temperature and ventilating conditions with the use of atmospheric air.

In order to enable the unit to be handled con-.- ventiently and with certainty under the alternative conditions of use, with or Without the supporting plate 5 and the oxygen receptacles adapted to be mounted thereon, a special handle mounting is provided. This handle consists of i elongate member 33 mounted between upright brackets 36 extending upwardly from the top wall 2% of the closure 2, which permits a gripping of th n t anywhere along the elongate hand1e. 3 depending upon the, shiftin enter of gravity of the unit as a result of theoptional attachment thereto of the oxygen tank assembly. when the latter is used, the end of the handle adjacent the head end of the unit is gripped, whereas without the oxygen tank the handle 33 is gripped near the other end thereof, or towards the center of the casing and cover.

The dimensions of the compact unit, which run about 19%" in length and 13" in width, with an over-all height of less than provides a compact device which can be easily carried on the seat of an automobile on the side of a doctor or a nurse Whenever there is need to rush an infant to the hospital, with certainty that the infant will be subjected to substantially uniform temperature conditions and to no harmful drafts or air currents. The unit is also of light weight, about 13 /2 pounds without the oxygen attachments, so that the same can be handled easily by a nurse, and units of lighter weight are attainable by the use of lighter gauge metallic sheets. The unit is sufliciently roomy to accomodate a twin set of infants when such a contingency arises.

The temperature of the water with which the hot water bottles are filled, which water is always available upon the delivery of infants, can be employed to control the temperature of the atmosphere within the enclosure which is desirably kept at about 90 to 100 F. and relative humidity of 60% to 65%. The temperature of the water placed in the bottles should preferably be about 140 F. which will maintain the temperature in the enclosure suitably warm for several hours, since tests have proven that under usual conditions of ambient temperature, it will take five hours for the temperature to drop to 83 and that nearly two hours elapse before the temperature drops below 90. As an added precaution against harm to the infants, the water bottles may be enclosed in cloth or fianelette bags.

In order to provide a ready check on the temperature conditions Within the ,incubator inclosure, a transparent window 80 of methyl methacrylate resin or the like may be provided in. the top. 24 adjacent to the foot of, the. unit throughwhioh may be seen a thermometer 8.! supported in the interior about an inch below the top. This thermometer issupported by bracketsaz mounted on the underside of top. 24, and boltsflt clamp the thermometer in place for ready removal thereof for purpose of replacement. The transparent window readily permits the temperature in the incubator to be noted by a nurse or attendant of the infant.

In such cases where chemical water heaters are available or desirable, such may be used in lieu of. hot. water bottles, as outlined above. In any case, the portable baby incubator and ambu lance described above is independent of any sources of electrical energy which are not always available in rural areas where the need for the care of premature infants may arise, or in such cases where failure of electric power may take place as a result of unusual conditions.

-Whilel have describedmy invention as embodied in a specific. form and as operating in a specific manner for purposes of illustration, it should be understood that I do not limit my invention thereto, since various modifications will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of my invention, the scope of which is set forth in the annexed claims.

I claim:

in portable infant-incubator comprising a casing defined by a bottom, side and end walls, a removable rack fitted within said casing having a platform spaced from the bottom and sides of said casing for supporting an infant thereon, the spaces between the platform and casing adapted to accommodate a plurality of hot water bottles to warm the interior of said casings, a hoodshaped cover for said casing coextensive with the upper boundaries thereof hingedly mounted to the top thereof along one side for covering completely said casing, fastening means on the other side thereof for effecting a close fit of said cover on said casing, said cover having an opening in at least one side thereof and a transparent movable closure for said opening to permit access to the infant, and means for admitting oxygen into said casing forutilization by the infant.

2. A device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said removable rack is formed of a pair of angular uprights on each side thereof to define a space for accommodating a hot water bag in upstanding position, said platform extending between said uprights near the lower ends thereof to accommodate a hot water bottle therebelow and having a plurality of openings therein to facilitate the heat transfer from said water bottle, and a horizontal bar extending between each pair of uprights above the platform adapted to retain the upstanding water bags in place.

3. A device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said last-mentioned means comprises a screened opening at the lower portion of one of the end walls of said casing, and an adjustable closure therefor to control the flow of oxygen therethrough.

" end walls for ready engagement therewith and disengagement therefrom, a hood-shaped cover for said casing coextensive with the upper boundaries thereof hingedly mounted to the top thereof along one side for covering completely said casing, fastening means on the other side thereof for effecting a close fit of said cover on said casin and simultaneously securing said plate adjacent to said end wall, said cover having an opening in at least one side thereof and a transparent movable closure for said opening to permit access to the infant, and means including an opening in said casing for leading the oxygen from the oxygen tank into the interior of said casing for utilization by the infant.

5. A portable infant-incubator comprising a rectangular box-like casing having a bottom, two sides, head and foot end walls, a removable rack fitted within said casing having a platform spaced from the bottom of said casing for supporting an infant thereon, a plate provided with racks for a small oxygen tank and a transparent bottle of water, said plate being hooked over the top of the end wall at the head of the casing, a gable-shaped cover for said casing coextensive with the upper boundaries thereof hingedly mounted to the top thereof along one side for covering completely said casing, fastening means on the other side thereof for effecting a close fit of said cover on said casing and simultaneously fastening said plate adjacent to said end, and the head end wall of said cover having an opening therein adapted to have tubing inserted therein for conducting oxygen into the interior of the incubator following the travel thereof from said tank through the water in said bottle through which it is bubbled.

6. A device as set forth in claim wherein a long handle for the incubator is mounted on the top of the cover extending for at least half the length of the incubator from the head end thereof towards the opposite end to facilitate portability of the incubator despite the variable center of gravity thereof as a result of the selective attachment of the oxygen tank unit thereto.

7. A portable infant-incubator unit comprising a main lower casing for bedding the infant and a closure for said casing, a carrier for supporting a. source of oxygen for the interior of said incubator, said carrier being removably secured to the exterior surface of one end of said unit, and a long handle for said unit mounted on the top of said closure and extending from said one end more than half way towards the opposite end of said unit to enable the grip therealong to be varied in dependence on the variation of the center of gravity of said unit with and without said carrier.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,176,555 Hess Mar. 21, 1916 1,933,733 Hess Nov. 7, 1933 1,947,007 Hofiman Feb. 13, 1934 2,219,185 Hirleman Oct. 22, 1940

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1176555 *May 3, 1915Mar 21, 1916Julius H HessWater-jacketed bed.
US1933733 *Sep 30, 1932Nov 7, 1933Julius H HessInfant incubator
US1947007 *Mar 24, 1933Feb 13, 1934Hoffman Erwin FBaby incubator
US2219185 *Nov 22, 1937Oct 22, 1940Hirleman Clark WIncubator
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2593134 *Nov 19, 1948Apr 15, 1952Air ShieldsApparatus for the treatment of croup and the like
US2641248 *Jul 12, 1950Jun 9, 1953Gordon Armstrong Company IncPortable baby incubator
US2708927 *Nov 21, 1952May 24, 1955Continental Hospital Service IIncubator for infants
US3316565 *Apr 9, 1965May 2, 1967Samuel O BroydeCarrier for living beings
US3356087 *Feb 10, 1966Dec 5, 1967Yolan R GuttmanEuthanasia apparatus
US3470866 *Nov 16, 1966Oct 7, 1969Gittelson Stanley BPortable incubator
US3821947 *Jan 11, 1973Jul 2, 1974Schossow GInfant warmer-incubator
US5976871 *Apr 29, 1998Nov 2, 1999Venturedyne, Ltd.Cytogenetic chamber
DE19719533C1 *May 9, 1997Jun 25, 1998Draegerwerk AgHeat therapy device, e.g. incubator, for small children
U.S. Classification600/22, 165/138
International ClassificationA61G11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61G11/00, A61G11/009
European ClassificationA61G11/00W, A61G11/00