US 2917046 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 15, 1959 FMRBANKS 2,917,046
THERAPEUTIC VAPOR APPARATUS Filed Feb. 10, 1958 ag ki INVENTOR. f 1 52/ 77 Efiz/eawws 2,917,046 THERAPEUTIC VAPOR APPARATUS Everitt E. Fairbanks, Pacoima, Califi, assignor to Mintzer,
Fairbanks & Politis, Granada Hills, Cali, 2 corporation of California Application February 10, 1958, Serial No. 714,359 10 (Cl. 128-186) with the vapor, or by placing a tent around the patient in which vapor can be confined. The prolonged use of a room filled with therapeutic vapor requires that the walls of the room he surfaced with special material to curb the destruction effects of the vapor. Similarly, the other furnishings in the room must be able to withstand the generally adverse effects of a very humid atmosphere. Of course, the availability of rooms of the above-described type is generally limited due to the expense involved, and such rooms are normally found only in hospitals and sanitariums having full facilities to treat respira tory ailments.
In the event that a tent is employed to confine 'an atmosphere of vapor about a patient, a substantial amount of expense is still involved and the tent results in additional inconveniences by rendering the patient somewhat inaccessible. Furthermore, confining tents often have a terrifying effect on children who frequently require this method of treatment. It may therefore be seen, that a need exists for a convenient and inexpensive means of providing and maintaining an atmosphere of vapor about a patients head or other body member.
In general, the present invention comprises a pad or pillow formed of resiliently-deformable material, and having passages therein connected to function in conjunction with means for passing steam or other vapor into the passages whereby the steam is emitted to engulf apatients head as it comfortably rests upon the pillow.
Furthermore, means are provided within the pillow whereby the weight of the patients head closes those passages lying directly under the head, thereby preventing steam from being confined in direct contact with the patient. Means are also provided, in conjunction with the passages of the pillow, for removing condensed-vapor liquid from the passages in the pillow.
It is therefore a major object of this invention to provide a novel and improved means for providing therapeutic vapor.
Another object of this invention is to provide a pillow for dispensing therapeutic vapor to engulf a patients body member.
An additional object of this invention is to provide a vapor-dispensing means for therapeutic purposes, which dispenses steam to engulf a patients head; however, which does not allow vapor to be confined against the head.
A further object of the present invention is to provide ameans for comfortably supporting a body member while simultaneously providing and maintaining an atmosphere of steam or vapor about the body member.
States Patent A still further object of the present invention is to provide a system for dispensing therapeutic steam from a pillow which includes means for removing condensed steam from the passages within the pillow.
One additional object of the present invention is to Figure 1 is a perspective view of a vapor-dispensing system constructed in accordance with the presentinvention;
2-2 of Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a perspective view of the pillow portion of the system of Figure 1, illustrating one manner in which the pillow may be formed; and
Figure 4 is a sectional view taken along line 44 of Figure 3.
In general, the present invention is directed to a steam or vapor dispensing system which incorporates a steam generator S that supplies steam to a pillow P which dispenses the steam. The pillow P also includes means to discharge fluid resulting from condensed steam, whereby such fluid is returned to the steam generator S.
Referring now in detail to the drawing, and particularly to Figure 1 thereof, the illustrated form of the steamdispensing system is shown positioned for use by a patient reclining upon a bed 11. The steam generator S may comprise various forms of apparatus which will provide live steam or various other medicinal vapors from an outlet 12. Such a steam generatorwill normally include a sump which holds fluid that is heated to produce the medicinal vapor employed in the system. One form of a steam generator satisfactory for use in a system embodying the present invention is shown and described in a United States Patent No. 2,590,026, issued March 18, 1952, to Zeppo Marx.
The outlet 12 of the steam generator S is connected through a flexible tube 13 to a tube 15 by a coupling 14. The tube 15 passes through nearly the full length of the pillow P in the upper section of the pillow. The pillow P is formed of resiliently-deformable material, as foam plastic or other synthetic or natural material which will provide a comfortable head support and is capable of withstanding moist vapors having elevated temperatures. Normally the pillow will be formed of foam material in which the small cavities are not interconnected and which therefore will not absorb liquid as a sponge.
The tube 15 which is within the pillow P contains uniformly spaced groups 17 of jets which discharge into passages 18 formed in the pillowP. The jets in each of the groups 17 serve to accelerate the motion of the steam as it moves into the passages 18. The passages 18 in the pillow P are tapered and extend substantially the full Width of the pillow. The pillow is formed to include small protuberances or dams 19 which extend into the passages 18and which are spaced along the length of the passages. Each of the passages 18 branch into a number of steam-dispensing channels 21 which extend to the upper surface of the pillow P. It is through the channels gated recess 20 in which the tubes are atfixed. The
Patented Dec. 15, 1959 Figure 2 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 3 small-diameter tubes 22 have a cross-sectional dimension to effect capillary action and provide a relatively high fluid rise in the tubes.
The small-diameter tubes 22 merge into a larger, diameter flexible hose 23 which returns to the sump of the steam generator S.
Reference will now be had to Figure 3, which best illustrates the manner in which the pillow of the present invention may be formed. The resiliently-deformable material may be molded as a generally-rectangular pillow form member having a centrally-located transverse trough 25 which opensinto passages '18 that are located in one half section of the rectangular member. The other half section of the pillow form member is formed to have rows 26 of perforations which comprise the channels 21. The dams 19 are molded to be spaced along each row 26. Perforations are also formed to receive the tubes 22.
After the resilient-deformable material has been formed into the member, described above and shown in Figure 3, the tube is placed in the trough 25 so that each-of the groups 17 of jets is aligned with one of the passages 18. The small-diameter tubes 22 are then inserted in the small end of each of the passages 18, and may be secured therein by .various liquid adhesive materials. Next,
' the upper surfaces of the pillow-form member, asv shown in Figure 3,-and the tube 15 are coated with liquid adhesive andthe pillow form is folded together to produce the unitary pillow of Figure 1. It isto be noted that as the pillow form is folded together, the wedges 27 formed at the end of the trough 25 serve to close the tube 16.
In the use of the system embodying the present invention, as shown in Figure 1, the patient reclines upon the bed 11'and places his head, or other body member, upon the pillow P'for support. The steam generator S is then activated causing steam to enter the tube '13 and be emittedfrom the groups 17 of small jets in the tube 15 into the passages 18. From the passages 18, steam passes through the small channels 21 to form an atmosphere which engulfs the patients face. As a result, the patient may inhale themedicinal steam and therapeutic respiratory treatment is effected.
In the use of the system, the steam passages 18 which lie immediatelyunder the patients head are closed by the dams 19 being depressed into the passage. Therefore, the patients head is not subjected to confined steam, which could result in skin irritation.
After prolonged use ofthe system of the present invention, steamor other vapor may be condensed in the passages 18 resulting in an accumulation of liquid. Of course, it isdesirable to remove such liquid in order that the steam-dispensing system will continue to function properly. The hydrostatic head of the liquid accumulated in the passages, in cooperation with the capillary action which takes place in the small-diameter tubes 22 causes the liquid to rise in the tubes-22 to a level adequate to initiate a syphoning action which drains the fluid back into the sump of the steam generator S.
An important feature of this invention is that it enables therapeutic steam treatment without expensive and complex apparatus. Additionally, the system may be used while a patient'comfortably-reclines upon a bed. Furthermore, the present invention automatically controls the areas from which steam is emitted so as to protect the patient from skin irritation or discomfort. Still further, the present invention provides a means for removing condensed steam in the form of liquid from the apparatus to thereby maintain the steam-dispensing systemin proper operation.
Another important feature of the present invention resides in the fact that the channels 21 are offset from the vertical, and are therefore selectively closed when a body member is positioned on the pillow. That is, the channels 21 ;are formed to be longer than the distance from the passages 18 to the surface of the pillow. As a, result when the pillow is compressed, these passages are selecsiliently-deformable material comprises foam 4 tively closed to prevent steam from being confined by a skin surface.
It should be noted that although the particular embodiment of the invention herein shown and described is fully capable of providing the advantages and achieving the objects herein previously set forth, such embodiment is merely illustrative and this invention is not to be limited to the details of construction illustrated and described herein, except as defined by the appended claims.
1. A therapeutic means for providing vapors for inhalation by a patient comprising: a pad formed of resiliently-deformable material having a chamber therein and a plurality of passages connecting said chamber with the exterior of said pad; means for providing vapor to said chamber in said pad, whereby said vapor will pass through said passages and be emitted from said pad; and tube means connected to said passages to remove condensed vapor therefrom.
2. A therapeutic means to receivea body member and provide vapor adjacent the member comprising: a pad of resiliently-deformable material having a plurality of interconnected passages therein extending to the exterior of said pad; a plurality of protuberanc'es' formed in said pad to project into said passages whereby certain of said'passages will be closed under the weight of said member; and means for providing vapor to said passages in said pad. 7
3. A therapeutic means to receive a body member and provide vapor adjacent the member comprising: a pad of resiliently-deformable material having a plurality of interconnected passages therein extending to the exterior of said pad; a plurality of protuberances formed in said pad to project into said passages whereby certain of said passages .will be closed under the weight of said member; means for providing vapor to said passages in said pad; and means connected to said passages to remove condensed vapor therefrom.
4. A therapeutic means to receive a body member and provide vapor adjacent the member comprising: a pad formed of-resiliently-deformable material having a chamber therein and a plurality of passages connecting said chamberwith the exterior of said pad; a plurality of protuberances formed in said pad .toproject into .said passages whereby certain of said passages will be closed under the weight of said member; means for providing vapor to said chamber in said pad, whereby said vapor will pass through said passages and be emitted from said pad; and means connectedto said passages to remove condensed vapor therefrom.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said means connected to said passages to remove condensed vapor therefrom comprises: a plurality. of small. diametertubes connected to-said passages in which fluid will rise under capillary action. V
6. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said replastic material.
7. A'therapeutic means to operate in conjunction with a steam generator including a sump to receive abody member and provide vapor adjacent themember comprising: a pillow of resiliently-deformable foam plastic having a. central chamber formed therein, and a plurality of passages connecting said central chamber to theexterior of said pillow, and said pillow further'including 8. A therapeutic means to operate in conjunction with a source of medicinal vapor, to support a body member and provide vapor adjacent the member comprising: a pad of resiiiently-deformable material having a plurality of interconnected passages therein extending to the exterior of said pad; a plurality of protuberances formed in said pad to project into said passages whereby certain of said passages Will be closed under the weight of said member; and means for connecting said source of medicinal vapor to said passages.
9. A therapeutic means to operate in conjunction with a source of medicinal vapor, to support a body member and provide vapor adjacent the member comprising: a pad of resiliently-deformable material having a plurality of interconnected passages therein extending to the exterior of said pad; a plurality of protuberances formed in said pad to project into said passages whereby certain of said passages will be closed under the Weight of said me:.;ber; means for connecting said source of medicinal vapor to said passages and means for removing the condensate of said medicinal vapors from said passages.
10 A therapeutic means to receive a body member and provide vapor adjacent the member comprising: a pad formed of resiliently-deformable material having a chamber therein adapted to be connected to a source of vapor, said pad having a plurality of channels interconnecting said chamber to the surface of said pad, said channels being longer than the Wall of said pad through which the channels pass, and said pad further having a plurality of extensions protruding into said chamber whereby to cut oif certain of said channels upon compression of said pad.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,025,659 Gilquin Dec. 24, 1935 2,150,747 Naulty Mar. 14, 1939 20 2,750,606 Freedlander June 19, 1956