US 2933738 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 26, 1960 K. J. WHELAN PRESSURE-RELIEVING PAD Filed Oct. 14, 1957 INVENTOR. 15 An/mwzcfhflmv Jdorvz e s This invention relates generally to pressure-relieving pads, and more particularly to pads of this type intended PatentedApr. 26, 1960 2 of irritation, but instead provide greater overall comfort for the patient.
Still another object of the invention is to provide such a pad that is inexpensive and lightweight, and does not rapidly deteriorate with continued use.
his a still further object of the invention to provide such a pressure-relieving pad that is formed of a material that does not cause an allergic reaction in which is easily cleaned and sanitiized.
- These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of one form thereof, and of a modification of that form, in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a pair of pads placed upon a hopsital bed, one pad being the upper or thoracic pad, and the other pad being the lower or lumbar pad,
to relieve the pressure on a relatively bony portion of the human body when the person is relatively immobile, as in the case of certain patients in hospitalsand sanitariums.
In the nursing and care of invalids, it has long been a problem to prevent the ,occurrence :of bed sores and to 1 are unable to move so that they can change their posi-.
tion withinthe bed. These patients, when placed in one position by the nurse or attendant, must remain'in that position until they are again moved by the nurse or attendant. While this condition is unpleasant enough, certain bony portions of the body, such as the hips, shoulder blades, spine, and coccyx cause a concentration of pressure on those portions of the flesh adjacent the bony areas. As a result, these areas are among the firstto become painful, and very often bed sores are produced.
Heretofore various forms of pressure-relieving pads have been used, including continuous resilient cushions, such as sponge rubber sheets and pads, and members having an aperture in them, such as annular cushions. While each of the previous forms has been of some assistance in reducing the pain and discomfort of the patient, each of the prior devices has been subject to certain disadvantages, and neither the patient nor the nurse has been satisfied with the products heretofore available. For example, in the case of a helpless patient, if the nurse turns the patient from one side to the other, in addition to turning, the patient also moves from one side of the bed to the other. If an annular pressurerelieving pad of the type heretofore available is used, the pad must also be moved from its first position, where it relieved the pressure on one hip of the patient, to a second position, usually on the opposite side of the 'bed, where the pad relieves the pressure on the opposite hip of the patient. a To insert the pad where it is needed requires the lifting of at least a portion of the patients body so that the pad maybe slipped beneath him. The patient is thus handled more, which is generally unpleasant to the patient, and requires additional work on the part of the nurse or attendant.
It is a major object of this invention to provide a presthe bony portions of the body, do not add other sources with a patient indicated in phantom outline, shown upon the pads;
Figure'2 is a perspec'tiveview of the lumbar pad as it might appear upon a hospital bed, a patient in another position "being shown in phantom outline;
Figure 3 is a-perspective view of a pad constructed in accordance with this invention, this pad corresponding to the lumbar pads shown in Figures 1 and 2;
Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view of the pad shown in Figure 3, taken on the line 44 of Figure 3; and
Figure 5 is a perspective view of a slightly modified form of pad, generally similar to the pad shown in Figure 3, but with the apertures slightly changed. The pad shown in Figure 5 corresponds to the thoracic pad shown in Figure 1.
Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to Figures 1 and 2.thereof, the numeral 10 indicates a pressure-relieving pad of a resilient material adapted to provide support to the-body of the patient. While the pad 10 is shown in Figures 11 and 2 as being in the lumbar position, it will be seen'that it may be used to relieve pressure on the upper portions of the back, where it will be in the thoracic position.
As best seen in Figures 3 and 4, the pad 10 is of a generally elongated shape and is usually of a length to extend across the major portion of a hospital bed. The width of the pad 10 is sufiicient to cover the area being protected and to distribute the weight of that portion of the patient over a larger area, and for an adult, the length of the pad may be of the order of 32", while its width may be of the order of 15". For exceptionally larger persons, the pad may be made bigger, and for children and smaller persons, the pad may be made smaller. The thickness of the pad 10 will be governed by the resilience of the material of which it is constructed, and also by the weight of the patient. However, in general, it will be of the order of 3", and as illustrated in Figures 3 and 4, the edges of the pad 10 are tapered or rounded so that there will be no sharp edges or corners that might rub against the patient and irritate the skin.
Centrally located in the pad 10 is an aperture 11 extending from the upper surface of the pad'toward the lower surface. The upper end of the aperture 11 is preferably flared so that there are no sharp edges surroundingthe aperture, but instead the upper surface curves smoothly into the aperture. The aperture 11 is shown as having a generally circular configuration, but this may be varied to meet different conditions, and while the size of the aperture will depend upon its shape and the use to which it is to be placed, the opening will in general be of the order of two to four inches.
Spaced outwardly from the'aperture 11 are additional apertures 12 and 13, generally similarly constructed, and generally of approximately the same size as the central aperture. When used as a lumbar pad, the pad 10 will have the outer apertures 12 and 13 spaced from the patients, and
the distance from the spine to the bony portion of the hip. Generally, the centers of each of the outer apertures new 13 .areofzthe orderI'of l lfifrom the centenof the central aperture 11. Thus, the centers oftheiouteriapertures :12 and 12 .areapproximately 22"capart. gwithf this spacing, the average patient .may'be rolled rfroni-aposition where he is lying on .one:,hip,. to the opposite. position wherehe is lying .on the other hip and :each .hipzwillextend into the corresponding apertures .12 and '13.. The flower .endofpthe spine, under these circumstances, .will fit into the central aperture .11, and the size ofthexapertures is generally sufiicient ,to accommodate persons of slightly different size. F
The material of which-thepad is constructed may take any of a variety of forms. As mentioned-,zthe pad should .be resilient, and perhaps one of the most satisfactory materials is ,one identificdas a polyester foam Such a material is available in diiferent degrees-of softness, and generally should bemolded :to form "the pad 10, thereby forming a smooth and substantially ,impervious-surface or skin on theexterior of the pad. Such a material generally does not cause any allergi'c'reaction in the patient, and the imperviousfskin permits the pad to be cleaned quickly and easily, and pr ev ents the absorpbody without being completely compressed at any point.
It is not essential that the apertures 11 extend completely through the pad 10, and in some. cases, such as to provide the desired mechanical stre1 1gth of the'entire pad, it maybe advisable to leave the lower end of -.the aperture closed, as indicated by therdotted line 14 -.in Figure 4. The actual depth of the apertureis relatively unimportant, so long as the pressure exerted by the body is distributed over a larger area so that sores and painful areas will not develop. a
'ln Eigurev 5 there is illustrated a slightly modified form of pad 20 in'which the central aperture 21, corresponding to the central aperture 11 of the pad 10, is elongated to I receive a portion of the spinal column. The outer apertures 22 and 23, corresponding to the outer apertures ,12 and.13 of the lumbar pad 10, are generally located closer to one side of the pad, and that side may be made-slightly concave, as at 24, to prevent interference with the head and neck. The shoulder blades of the patient fit into the apertures 22 and 23, and thus while a patient is lying on his back, as indicated in Figure 1, the bony portions of the upper part of the body, including the spinal column and the shoulder blades, are protected by the pad.
To provide complete protection and pressure relief for a patient, it is often desirable to use both the thoracic and the lumbar pads, as illustrated in Figure 1. The
size of the pads is such that bothmay be used for the.
been in contact with another patient, the covermay very;
easily beused. The covering may be providedwby-the bottom sheet of the bed, or may be; a separate .casing that is. applied to the individual pad.
. One of the important features of the present pad is that it provides aplurality of apertures to receive difierent bony. portions .of..the body, v thereby providing increased protection, and reducing the amount of work that must be performed .by the nurse or attendant in moving the patient. Prior pads for this purpose have generally had but a single aperture, which does not provide protection for the spine and the two shoulder blades, and, when used in the lumbar region, requires that the pad be moved from the central or spinal position'to one of the hip positions when the patient is-moved-.-
Whilethe padhas been illustrated as being used with a bed patient, it will be appreciated that its use is not so restricted. Thus, forexample, patients who must spend many hours in a wheel chair find the pad of great value to them.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that there has been provided a pressure-relieving pad fully capable of achieving the objects and securing the advantages heretofore .set forth. --While there has been shown and described a preferred and modified 'form of the invention, the patent is not to be limited to the particular'formor arrangement of parts herein described and shown, except as limited'by the following claims.
' I claim:
1. A pressure-relieving pad ofthe class described which includes a body member of resilient foam construction adapted' to extend across a Y recumbent perso'ns torso, said body member being of generally rectangular construction and of a stiffness such that it will conform-to the persons torso while not being completely compressed in the areas ofgreatest pressure concentration, said body member having a centrally located aperture adapted-to receive .apertion of the bony spinal area of said 'person and a pairofspaced apertures located on opposite sides of said centrally located aperture and adapted to receive other bony areas spaced outwardly from said spinal area, the edges of .said body member being rounded, said apertures reducing the pressure otherwise exerted on'said persons .bodyiin the immediate vicinity of said areas and more uniformly distributing it over a greater area.
,2. A pressure-relievingpad of the class described'which includes: a body member of resilient foam construction adapted .10 extend across the lumbar portion of a persons back, said body member being of generally rectangularshapeand of astifiness such that it will conform to. the persons body while not being completely compressed in. the areas of greatest pressure concentration, said body member having a centrally located aperture adapted'to receive the lower spinal area of said person and a pair of spaced apertures located on opposite sides of said centrally located aperture and adapted to receive the hip. areas of said person when said person is lying on his side, said apertures reducing the pressure otherwise cxerted on said persons body in the immediate vicinity of said areas and more uniformlydistributing'it over a greater area. i I 1 3. A pressure-relieving pad ofthe class described which includes: a body member of resilient foam construction shaped-to extendacrossa bed transverseiy to a recumbent persons torso, said body member being of generally rectangular construction and of a stiffness such that it will conform to the .persons torso'while not being completely compressed'in the areas of greatest pressure concentratiorn'said body member having a centrally located aperture adapted to .receive a portion of the bony spinal area-of a recumbent person, and having a pair of spaced apertures located on opposite sides of said centrally located aperture and adapted to receive other outwardly located bony areas of a person in said recumbent posiincludes: a body member of resilient foam construction nd of generally rectangular shape, having a 'width. sutlicient toiextend .over the lumbar area .of a recumbent person and a length suflicient to extend materially beyond both sides of said person, the stifiness of said body member being such that it will conform to the shape of the recumbent persons body while not being completely compressed in the areas of greatest pressure concentration, said body member having a centrally located aperture adapted to receive the lower spinal area of said recumbent person when said person is on his back, and having a pair of spaced apertures on opposite sides of said centrally located aperture, each of said spaced apertures being positioned to receive one of the hip areas of said recumbent person when he is on his side, said apertures being so spaced from each other that they are aligned with their corresponding bony areas as said recumbent person is turned from one side to the other, said apertures reducing the pressure otherwise exerted on said recumbent person's body in the immediate vicinity of said areas and more uniformly distributing it over a greater area.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,123,317 Kranz Jan. 5, 1915 2,343,996 Perry Mar. 14, 1944 2,659,418 Berman Nov. 17, 1953 2,700,779 Tolkowsky Feb. 1, 1955 2,728,926 Emery Jan. 3, 1956 2,782,427 Ericson Feb. 26, 1957 2,819,712 Morrison Jan. 14, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 560,295 Great Britain Mar. 29, 1944