US 2874695 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 24, 1959 'c.rA. vANlMAN 2,874,695
ENURESIS NAPKINA ASSEMBLY Filed July 2o. 195e 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. F G-,4 Charles A.Vanimc|n ATTYJ Feb. 24, 1959 c. A. vANlMAN 2,874,695
' ENUREsIs NAPKIN ASSEMBLY Filed July 2o, 195s z-sneefS-sheet 2 INVENTOR. Charles A.Vc|n|man QM' 957m ATTYJ ENUREsIs NAPKIN ASSEMBLY i charles vaina, Fort iaude'rdale, Fla. a
. vapplicati@:any ao, i956, `ser-m1 No. 599,05;Y
" -:14 Claims; 'f (ci. 12s-13s) This invention relates to an enuresis napkin assembly adapted to be `worn uponythe body of a sleeping child, the purposebeing to induce la prompt cessation of any involuntaryvoidingof hisV bladder. The assembly comprises aself-contained power pack in electrical circuit with a` vibrator anda napkin having a pairffof juxtaposed electrodes spaced from eachother by av moisture-absorbent insulator. The `electrodes and insulatorgare 'so arranged that the absorbent'v insulator'will fbe wetted by even `a small ,discharge of urine whs'e"`salt content will then act to complete a circuit between the electrodes and produce operation of the vibrator. .Such a napkin iseifective "to aid a person with enuiesis, in' overcoming the mental conditionwhich is mainly responsible1 for his disagreeable habit. l The napkin of this invention, to be acceptable for wearinguponthebody, must be light, soft',`llexible`and comfortable. It must alsov beeasyof application to and removal from the body, andbeprovidedwith its own power pack whereby t'owdispense ivithfconnections to anyexternal source of power.` fIt is also requisite that it be `readily vtfashalble sogas, tombey restored to clean and sanitary, condition following'each'use. The present napkin", is endowed with all.` these important attributes` and also 'numerous others as will hereinafter'appear. a
Y A suggestive exemplication of this invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein j Fig. 1 is vait'ront perspectiveview of the belt unit per se; Fig. 2 is asimilar view of theloin unit; Pig. 3 is a longitudinal section through the powerpack, taken on line 3-3 of Fig.` 5; Fig. A4 is an enlarged detail inhorizontal section, taken on line 4 -4 of Fig.` 2; Fig. 5 is anenlarged fragmentary detail invertical section, taken on line 5- 5 of Fig. 2, with the 4power pack in its `operative position also shown therein; Fig. `6 -is an` enlarged fragmentary detail in vertical section, taken on line 6 6 of Fig.= 2; Fig. 7 is aldiagram` of the electrical circuit employed Afor operation of the vibrator; Fig. 8 is a fragmentary detail .in elevation, looking toward the inside front ofthe loin unit; Figs. 9 -1 1, supplemented by Figs. 9a- 11a, are diagrammatic views in front 'andend' elevations, respectively, showing three successive stages in'rassembling the napkin components in a preferred construction; Fig. 12 isan enlarged transverse section through the napkin assembly, Vtaken on line 12-12 of Fig. 8; Figs. 13-16 are fragmentary details in section, partly diagrammatic, showing four modifications in the formof electrodes that may optionally be .incorporatedinto .the napkin of this invention; andFig. 16a is a fragmentary elevation of the electrode shown in `Fig. 16. a a f The belt unit B, as shown, comprises a body-encircling strap 20, elastic if desired, having one end portion tted with a pair of snap-fastener elements .21 complementary to one or more pair of `cooperating fastener elements `Z2, which` are carrieduponthe oppositeendportion of the strap. When interengaged; thefastener elements will releasably secure the two end portions of the'strap to proe also incorporated in the belt unit.
a pack a flexible two-ply covering V23 of plastic or the 2,874,695 Patented Feb. 24, 1959 ICC vide a continuous belt of predeterminedlength.- A belt so made is well known at the present time.
A power packP which is relatively thin and light is I provide for such like (see Fig. 3) which may have an intermediate cushioning play of cotton batting. Such a covering aiords an adequate protection, and is also soft and comfortable when in contact with the skin at a sensitive point. The belt when applied to the body will position the power pack at the front center, slightly `above the pelvic region. Affxed to the power pack covering 23 is a button A24 in spaced relation to a socket 25, each constituting one terminal of an electr-ical circuit which is diagrammed fully in Fig. 7.
As indicated clearly in Fig. 3, the power pack contains a battery 26 made up of several interconnected dry cells aligned within a paper carton 27, and adjacent one end of the carton a vibrator 28 having an electromagnet 29 and vibrating arm 3i) which is movable between the electromagnet and a diaphragm 31 with which it tends to remain in contact. The components of the vibrator are housed within a cylindrical metallic box 32 opposite ends of which abut the power pack enclosure 23. The electromagneti29 and diaphragm 31 are xedly mounted within the box and fully protected thereby. From the negative pole of the battery 26 a wire conductor 33 connects with the diaphragm 31, and from the electromagnet 29 a further wire conductor 34 leads to the fastner element 25V which constitutes one terminal that is exposed upon the exterior of the power back covering V23. Y' The other terminal, constituted bythe second fastener element 24 upon the exterior of the covering 23, -is connected by a wire conductor 35 to the positive pole ofthel battery 26. The circuit thus provided extends continuously from the fastener terminal 25 through the vibrator 28 and batis an elongated facing strip 39 of textile material having a turned upper end portion 4 0 which provides a mounting for a buttonv41 and a socket 42in a spaced relation cor# responding to that of the button 24 and Asocket 25 extending from the power pack covering 23, and for which 1 they constitute complementary components of the snap fasteners hereinbefore referred to.
When the loin unit is' properly iitted upon the body, the buttons 24 and 41 will occupy coacting positions relative to the sockets 42 and 25, respectively, and be adapted for releasable snap connection therewith.
Leading'idownwardly from the button 41 and socket 42 are flexible wire conductors 43 and 44 which are coveredi over by the elongatedfacing' strip 39. These-conductors are in electrical connection with the buttton' 41 and socket 42 and with mutually insulated electrodes X rand` Y, respectively, which are incorporated in and made a part of the present napkin N. This napkin utilizes certain components of soft textile material which, when dry, are high in insulating and moisture absorption values; when wet, however, as by urine, they readily become `conductors. Closely woven vpoplin havingJa' substantial cotton content is well suited for this purpose. When assembled with the electrodes X and Y, the poplinV or other like material will bethin, exible and sensitive to any change in moisture conditions resultingfrom dis-` power pack P. As by a line of zigzag stitching 46 extending around its borders, theelectrode X is secured to the carrier sheet 45 with the sharp rough edges of Athe electrode completely enclosed for protection.
The assembly of the napkin having proceeded up to this point (see Figs. 9 and 9a), the carrier sheet 45 is folded upon itself along the dotted line 47 with the electrode enclosedbetween its two plies (see Figs. 10 and 10a). To the outer face of the unoccupied ply is then aixed the second electrode Y at a point substantially in register with theelectrode X which is then disposed between the two plies of the folded carrier sheet 45 (see Figs. 1,1 and lla). While it is feasible to have the electrode Y in the form of a screen, the same as electrode X, I Aprefer for yreasons of greater flexibility, reduced weight, and lesser-tendency to discolor adjacent textilecomponents, to utilize a plurality of tineV copper .strands interconnected at their ends and spread irregularly across the selected face of the carrier sheet within an area corresponding roughly to that occupied by the rectangular electrode X. Several `lines of stitching 48 are then extended crosswise of the electrode Y and through the folded carrier sheet 45 to hold the strands of this electrode in place. The stitching 48 is confined to an area Within the contines of the closely spaced stitching 46 which borders thefelectrode X. Itwill be noted that the threads comprised in the two stitchings 46 and 48 are disposed in 4non-registering areas so as to avoid difculties in the sewing operation, etc.
The two electrodes X and Y, when so assembled and secured upon the folded carrier sheet 45, are ready to be fitted inthe loin unit L at its front to occupy a position in the crotch of the wearer directly opposite his urinal organ. .Previously the conductor wires 43 and 44 will have been connected to the electrodes and fastener elements 41 and 42 which are mounted on the elongated facing strip 39 at-its turned upper end 40. This facing strip which widely overlies and protects the conductor wires 43 and 44 and other components of the napkin assembly, is joined to the latter by a line of closely spaced zigzag stitching 49 extending through itself and through the carrier `sheet 45 around its border (see Fig. 12) and by further zigzag stitching 50 extending through itself around its own border and through the loin unit with whichit is inseparablyassociated. In addition, one or more lines Vof stitching S1 are extended through the turned upper end portion 40 of the facing strip and the loin unit (seeFig. 8) to strengthen the latter at the point where the fastener elements 41 and 42 are carried.
When assembled and joined together substantially as herein described, the napkin assembly and also the loin unit wherein it is mounted, will remain light, soft and comfortable, for wearing; it will also withstand repeated washing, air-drying and handling without detriment or impairment. Other alternative forms of electrodes may optionally be availed of, however, and without sacrifice of the advantages inherent in this invention, .as will now be noted by reference-to Figs. 13-16a.
According to Fig. l3,the napkin comprises a thin, light -and exible plate 52 of plastic or the like,formed witha plurality of perforations 53 through which threads '4servingfas Wicks are passed to engage extended linear areas of electrodes 55 and 56 which are carried on opposite faceslof the plate. These electrodes may vbe in the form of metalliccoatings applied by eleetrodepositions,
or hot spray process, or otherwise, and as shown are perforated'in'register with the openings 5 3 in the plate. The electrodes are enclosed between two plies 57 and 58 of a napkin carrier sheet 59 and are electrically connected in the circuit leading to the battery and vibrator to cause operation of the latter in the manner already described.
In Fig. 14 there is showntwo napkin plies 60 and 61 enclosing between them ,apair ofelectrodes 62 and 63 in the form of metallic foils which are separated by one or more sheet insulators '64 Adesirably of "light textile material. And in Fig. l5 the Anapkin plies `65 and 66 enclose 'between themtwo woven screens ormonoplanar grids 67 and 681having an yiinterveniiig. textile sheet insulator 69. Desirably each pair of electrodes in each of the constructions just described is characterized by confronting faces of extended area, and is produced from two dissimilar metals Ahaving unequal atomic weights, aluminum and'copper'being suggestedby way of example. The reasons for this 'will be explained shortly. In each of the ,napkin assemblies disclosedin Figures lflsuitable stitching `may b e employed to secure .the several components permanently together-,arid to the lonimit (not shown) lin the manner .f heretofore described' in connection with Figures l9-12.
Figures 16 and 16a depict a 'llexible screen of woven wiresv of small gauge which are fcoatedwith aniinsulation, e. g., cotton wrapping, which is 'moisture absorbent but with capacity, when wet, .for ccnductinstcurrent .therebetween. The wires 7 0 which rungo'ne wayare desirably aluminurnyvhereas the4 remainin'gwires y7,1 extending ,crossu Wise thereof are desirably copper. At one end portion of each set .of wires the v insulation 72 is stripped to expose lthe wires for interconnection with cross wires73 and 74, and it is to `the I atter that conductors, similarl to those vd es'ignatedwa's 4 3 and 44 in Figure :8, alle G99 nected. In this construction the wires 7 0 and 71 constitute two facingelectrodes normally separated by the insulation 72 whichremains eective yonlysojltnlg as it stays dry. .It has the advantage of combininginto one woven structure, `with consequent enhanced flexibility, the two electrodes rvwhich elsewhere hereiniare vdisclosed as separate-entities.
A napkin assembly which utilizesits ownpower. pack, as hereindisclosed, must necessarily, becauseo'f weight and space limitations, operate on a low battery current; also, 'because of thenature ofthe conductor which bridges the two electrodes, the flow of current.therebetweenwill necessarily bel-weak. Presumably several current paths will be opened up at or about the v.same time to complete the circuit which is tenuous fat best. To facilitate the ilow of .current Vbetween `the electrodes I propose that they be produced from dissimilar metalshaving unequal atomic weights, thereby, .vby.electrolytic action in rthe presence of -urine salts, to constitute .-a second battery whose potential, even though slight, will be*V effective ,at the point where most needed. It will .accordingly ac t to facilitate theI ow of, current Ybetween thel electrodes-'when a wet condition arises. This .is one reason-why aluminum andcopperare recommended as desirable -materials for the two electrodes since their combinedeifectisnot merely to serve as electrical contact areas yin a -circuit, but also to .improve the conductivity therethrough 4by electro-chemical action as well. .Another reason :is the tendency of vtwo electrodes tof the 4,same ,metalto react with urine ,in producing ardiscoloration of the adjacent textile components of the napkin. .With vcopper,,forexample. thesta'm `is offensively.browninclq .By ,utilizing aluminum f Qr the anode ,electrode in .Combination with a copper electrode `f or the cathode, the presence of 4urine causes aluminum to be transferred to the copper electrode and deposited thereuponin the form of ay thin coating which acts effectively to prevent any discoloration of the textile components Vof 'the napkin. To prevent premature exhaustion of metal in the electrode =X,.itmay be desirable to utilize therefor'wires or coatings of Vslightly larger gauge size than those chosen for the electrode Y.
`When the device of this invention is virst put touse, the power pack may be bent endwise fto an arcuate `form as suggestedl in Figure 3, thereby to conform better tothe contourof the wearers body. V.t`h e'batt`ery carton`27 and the covering 23 therefor will readily yield for this purpose and remain curved in substantially their new positions. The vibrator `28 lies close to the body and its percussions will be readily transmitted 'thereto in almost undiminished volume to produce a very ticklish sensation over the impacted area. i Eventhough the child may be sound asleep, an involuntary contraction `of the'abdominal muscles then takes place accompanied in most cases by a prompt cessation of the bladder voiding. By the time the child has awakened, the discharge of urine will usually have been interrupted, thereby minimizing the escaped quantity thereof. There will be, of course, some noise attending operation of the vibrator, but this is largely muffled by the enclosing covering 23 and is not an important factor in the treatment designed to overcome the enuretic condition. An adult who may be sleeping near by will usually be awakened so as to take care of the child promptly upon initial voiding of his bladder.
Experience has proven that the napkin assemblyrof this invention is very effective in arresting voiding of the bladder in an incipient stage thereof, whether or not the child be fully awakened; and that initially as many as three napkin changes in succession` may be required in a single night, this number soon dropping oi to two and later to one, with fnallyno further recourse to the napkin at all as the'enuretic condition disappears. A practical outiit will consist of one belt unit and three loin units, each complete with napkin assembly. The
loin units, when washed early in the day, will air-dry ,the napkin assembly whereby it is soft'and comfortable to be worn on the person; by a ready separation of the napkin assembly along with the loin unit from the power pack to facilitate changes of the former whenever necessary to avoid continuance of a wet condition; by the provision of combined supporting and electrical connections between the belt and loin units which will assure at all times restoration of the power circuit with the current llow proceeding through the electrodes in a predetermined direction; by adequate protection afforded to the xedly assembled components of the napkin so that they may undergo repeated Washing and drying operations without detriment in order to remain in a clean and sanitary condition; by a percussive device which operates upon a sensitive area of the body to -assure awakening of the sleeper; and by an overall compactness and lightness in weight which makes for easier handling, wearing, storage and shipment.
l. An enuresis napkin assembly comprising in a single unit adapted to be worn upon the body a pair of flexible, relatively flat, juxtaposed electrodes, a flexible moistureabsorbent sheet insulator interposed between the two electrodes, a pair of flexible, moisture-absorbent and insulating plies enclosing the two electrodes, flexible, normally-insulating means interconnecting the two plies, two electrodes and interposed sheet in Vunitary relation, and a flexible loin unit in which the napkin assembly is car ried, in combination with a exible belt unit in supporting connection with the loin unit for maintaining the napkin Aassembly therein in a position'up'on the wearer opposite the urinal organ, a'power-pack including a'battery and a vibrator comprised in the belt unit, Aand-an electrical circuit interconnecting the vibrator and power pack and in connection with eachelectrode, and operable with discharge of `urin upon the napkin assembly to complete fthecircuit between the electrodes whereby to-operate the vibrator.
v 2. An enuresis napkin assembly according to claim 1 wherein the belt unit supporting connection with the loin unit isdetachable and` its electrical connection with the napkin assembly isr also detachable' to permit complete separation of the belt and napkin assemblyunits and washing of 'the latter for maintenance thereof in a clean and sanitary state. f'
3. An enuresis napkin assembly according to claim `1 wherein the belt unit supportingconnection with'the loin unit is combined with the'electrical connections from the power pack to the napkin assembly.
4. An enuresis napkin assembly according to claim wherein theelectrodes 'are made fof dissimilar metals of unequal atomic weights with capacity, in the presence of` urine, for electro-chemical interaction to produce an electricalV current tending to facilitate its own' flow between the electrodes.` l V p 5. An enuresis napkin assemblyaccording to 'claim 1 in which the electrodes are made of dissimilar 'metals of unequalatomicweightefwith capacity, in the presence of urine, for electro-chemical'interaction to produce an electn'cal current 'tending to.faci1itate itsown ilow between the electrodes and wherein ythe beltl unit supporting connection with the loin unit utilizes two pairs of enacting detachable fasteners, 'one pair at the terminals of the batteryvibrator circuit and the'other pair at the terminals of the electrodes circuit,`and each cooperable nonlr'eve'rsibly with the other to complete therebetween a circuit path through which current may ow in only a predetermined direction.
6. An enuresis napkin assembly according to claim 1 wherein the power pack is so positioned on the belt unit as normally to rest upon the wearers body at a point slightly above the pelvic region with the vibrator next to the body of the wearer for transmitting percussive impacts thereto.
7. The combination with a body-fitting loin unit of a ixedly mounted enuresis napkin assembly having a pair of relatively at, juxtaposed, flexible electrodes, a flexible moisture-absorbent sheet overlying the exposed face of one electrode withinl the loin unit, a moistureabsorbent flexible insulator means separating the two electrodes, two outwardly extending spaced fastening elements, one male and the other female and each insulated from the other, carried by the loin unit at a point close to the waist line of the wearer, an electrical conductor extended from each electrode to one of the fastening elements, and a belt unit comprising in itself an electrical power pack `having a battery in circuit connection with a vibrator and with two terminals each in the form of a fastening element, one male and the other female, complementary to those on the loin unit and disconnectably engageable therewith to (a) support the loin unit in a predetermined position with its napkin assembly opposite the urinal organ of the wearer and (b) complete the electrical circuit to the two electrodes therein, the arrangement being such that urine, when discharged, will wet the absorbent insulator means between the electrodes to conduct current from one to the other thereby to complete the electrical circuit back to the power pack for operation of the vibrator, the loin unit, belt unit and all electrical elements herein recited being combined into a single, self-contained apparatus suitable for wearing upon the body.
8. An enuresis napkin assembly according to claim 7 in which the electrodes are made of dissimilar metals of unequal atomic weights with capacity, in the presence Qi suine, Ster electrochemical?.inbreetien ite predette an electrical .current-terminatofaeilitate-its ,Own 110W be- ;tweenrthereleetredesn9- Ar1 .fentlresis napkin tesseribly .eeeordins fte Claim '7 in .which the yihrator iste@ .1.isp0se,d -in :the Power peek es :te `rest vtreat tto the :body in Ythe -fabdetninal .area Hf Or transmittingttberetelin :the tallest 'measure therereuesive impacts emanating therefrom. LlO-'zTtie combinati@ with-.means ifertuppertiiis an enelesure eeritainir.is eweryeek having@ battery .and electrically ,eonneetednthere fazyibrator feperable thereby disposed unonlthebedy-,Q aweerer .at .a peint slightly ab9ve.-arid-in.e1 oee prexi ty te his pelvic resienfof a teitible Aeriureeis .travisirl assembly lesseeiated `with the power pack and in detachable connection ,therewith-to be held thereby tunenptherbedy.atatpointtopposite .the Vurinell ersatz, :and teotrmrising :twofilexible reloeely spaced, 1' iIX- ttposed aeleetreses-eaeh -in .-.eireuit eenrieetion with the power peek and vibreter., iaridfiiexible insulating means of .abserbent ,material 'interposed fbetween the two electrodes .and rieti-trg,l whensiry, t0 :prevent 110W .of Yeilrrfent from one te the other shirt, when'wet -to conduct.Current t.herebetween toieefmptete. thefeleetrieaL-eireuitzforoperatiemeffthe llvibreter, elllefpthe means.hereintreeited-being combined into a single, self-coritained apparatus .suitable ferwearitistuptzrinthebedy.
11- Ari etiilreeieapkin aseemblyeeeordingto elairn 10 in which there iis .a 19in yinrit :in the fform of iparits to Carry .the :napkin assembly, en-elongated iaeing istrip f iS fitted @ver -tthe riapkin assembly .arid iieined thereto and textile petits and extended .tirpwargly :therein et :thefront t i .e peint Clase te :the fwaist :litreaeleetrieal conductors are led item nthe electrodes .upwardly :between-:the t pants front and .the seitig strip fte' ,be :proteeted .by ftheflatter, and terminals -tQr the eonduetereiere :carried :by Vthe 5facingrstrip near its-.top forconnecvtion with other coacting ,terminalsin electrical connection :with the-.power pack.
312. An enuresis 4napkin assembly according to claim 1 0 zin Whichthe electrodes are made of dissimilar metals o f unequal-atomic-weights with capacity, lin the presence of yurine,f or electro-chemical interaction to -prroduce kan electrical currentftending to facilitate its `own ow between the electrodes. v
Y 1= 3. An lenurersis napkin assembly raccording to -claim `10,in ,which Veach .electrodemcompri/ses two interengaging sets of wires vconnected electrically to each other and to opposite @oies of the battery Vand v.tl-ie flexible moisture absorbent insulatingmaterial comprises a covering around eaeh wire 14. An enuresis napkin assembly according to claim vl0 in which Lthe 4flexible,insulating ymeans of absorbent materialis a textile sheet folded upon itself to carry the two electrodes, spacedfrorn each other, Vupon different faces of Ithe .sheet and in which flexible means are provided tojoin vthe/electrodes to each other through the medium of thesheet'toyrovide `a flexible napkin assembly.
,Ref'erenc'es7-Citedin the'tle of this .patent UNITED STATES PATENTS