US 2983272 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1961 M. E. HUNSTIGER 2,983,272
HEEL AND ELBOW PROTECTOR Filed Sept. 17, 1959 INVENTOR; MYRTLE E. HUNSTIGER.
ATTORNEY United States Patent Ofiice Patented May 9, 1961 HEEL AND ELBOW PROTECTOR Myrtle E. Hunstiger, 33 s. Avon, St. Paul, Minn.
Filed Sept. 17, 1959, S81. No. 840,598
Claims. or. 128-149) This invention relates to an improvement in heel and elbow protector and deals particularly with a covering member which may be used to protect the heels, elbows, and knees of a bedridden patient to prevent irritation due to contact with the sheets of a bed or the like.
Many persons who are confined to a bed for a period of time experience extreme irritation on heels, elbows and knees due to frictional contact with bed sheets. Over a period of time, this contact tends to irritate the skin and to cause extreme inflammation and often open sores. It is an object of the present invention to provide a covering for these body joints which will move with the joints and prevent irritation due to friction.
In the production of garments such as T-shrrts and the like, which are usually made of soft knitted fabric, elongated strips of material having oppositely arcuate edges are cut from the material and are normally discarded as scrap or waste material at the completion of the cutting operation. I have found that if these elongated strips are properly cut and combined, an effective protector can be produced which may be readily wrapped about the knee or elbow or which may be worn upon the feet to protect the heels of the patient. Material of the type in question is ideal for use as a protection due to the fact that the material is inherently soft and as such material can provide a protective cushion between the body joints and the relatively harder material of which bed sheets are formed. Furthermore, as the protector is attached to the body to move with the body, any friction against the bed sheets caused by the movement of the body joints would be caused between the protective covering and the sheets rather than between the bed sheets and the body. As a result much pain and suifering usually experienced by bedridden patients can be obviated.
A feature of the present invention resides in the fact that the protector may be formed through the use of two layers of soft fabric which are arranged in contiguous relation and marginally attached together. The two layers are cut longitudinally of the strips midway between their opposite arcuate edges. This cut extends substantially through one-half the length of the strips. By marginally connecting the strips together, and by connecting the strips along the cut lines throughout about one-half the length of the strips, a protective member is formed which is adaptable to fit the elbow, knee or foot. By cutting one of the layers transversely intermediate the ends of the strips, a pocket is formed which is adaptable to receive the foot of the patient. By folding the strip along the longitudinal center line thereof and stitching the various plies together adjacent the longitudinal center of the strips, a pocket is formed which fits neatly about the ankle, the elbow or the knee of the patient. The longitudinally split portions of the strips then provide ties which may be wrapped about the body limb to hold the protector in place. A feature of the present invention resides in the fact that the protector, when formed as described, provides a wrapper which is adaptable to accommodate the foot, or accommodate the knee or elbow joint to protect the patient from inflammation due to frictional contact with bed sheets. At the same time, the protector is formed of material which is normally sold as scrap material and which therefore is readily available at a relatively low cost.
These and other objects and novel features of the present invention will be more clearly and fully set forth in the following specification and claims.
In the drawings forming a part of the specification:
Figure l is a plan view of a pair of fabric strips secured together in contiguous relation and before the final stitching operation which forms the joint receiving pocket.
Figure 2 is a plan view of the same strips centrally folded and attached together.
Figure 3 is a diagrammatic view showing the first operation of attaching the protector to a body joint such as an elbow.
Figure 4 illustrates diagrammatically a succeeding step in attaching the protector to the joint.
Figure 5 is a perspective view showing the protector attached to the elbow.
Figure 6 is a perspective view showing diagrammatically the manner in which the protector may be used upon a foot.
Figure 7 is a view similar to Figure 6 showing the protector attached to the foot.
Figure 8 is a sectional view through the protector, the position of the section being indicated by the line 8-8 of Figure 1.
Figure 9 is a view similar to Figure 5 showing the opposite side of the protector.
Figure 1 of the drawings illustrates the shape of the fabric strip used to form the protector and the general outline thereof. The protector A is formed of three elongated strips of the outline illustrated in Figure 1, each of the three layers being of similar outline. Each of the layers includes oppositely arcuated sides 10 and 11 which converge to provide pointed ends 12 and 13. The lowermost layer 14 and the'second layer 15 are arranged in contiguous relation while the uppermost layer 16 is folded intermediate its ends as indicated at 17 so that both ends of the uppermost strip 16 terminate at the point 12. Rows of stitching 19 connect the marginal edges of the three plies together, the stitching extending close to the marginal edges of the strips.
The lowermost plies 14 and 15 are slit longitudinally as indicated at 20 to a point adjoining the center of the strips. Rows of stitching 21 extend along the slits 20 to connect the edges of the strips. Thus approximately one-half of the length of the strips are centrally divided to provide double ply tie portions 22 as will be later described.
The protector is completed by folding the superimposed strips along the center line between the pointed ends 12 and 13 as indicated in Figure 2 of the drawings, and in providing a row of stitching 23 which connects the inner ends of the ties 22. The stitching 2-3 does not extend through the uppermost doubled ply 16 shown in Figure 1 of the drawings. The stitching 23, at the three edges of the plies, is somewhat spaced from the center fold line 17 indicated in Figure 2 of the drawings.
The stitching 23 forms a pocket between the edges 10 and 11 of the various plies. When the protector is used plies adjoining the pointed end 12 is wrapped around and 3 beneath the arm and the pointed end 12 is tucked up into the pocket formed by the stitching 23. The protector is then in the position generally illustrated in'Figure 4 of the drawings. The two ties 22 are then separated, one tie being wrapped upwardly over the joint and the other extending downwardly beneath the joint. The ends of the ties 22 are then tied or knotted together as indicated in Figure 5. If preferred, the ties may be connected together by safety pins or other means but such additional means are not necessary.
When the protector is used to protect the knee, the protector is similarly applied, the knee joint being inserted into the pocket formed by the stitching 23, the pointed end 12 being wrapped about the joint and tucked into the pocket, and the ties 22 separated and drawn 4 about the leg from opposite directions, the ties being tied or otherwise secured together.
When the protector A is to be used upon the foot to protect the heels of the patient, the foot is inserted between the uppermost ply 16 and the next adjacent ply 15. When the foot is inserted between the plies l5 and 16, the heel will drop into the pocket formed by the stitching 23. As indicated in Figure 6 of the drawings, the pointed end 12 of the ply extends beyond the toes of the foot while the heel engages in the pocket formed by the stitching 23. The ties 22 are then separated and drawn about the ankle in opposite directions, the ends of the ties being tied together or otherwise connected as indicated in Figure 7 of the drawings.
From the foregoing description it will be clear that when the protector is used in conjunction with the knee or elbow joint, four thicknesses of soft material form the pocket into which the joint is placed and the ties 22 add additional protection to the joint. When the protector A is used upon the foot to protect the heel,
there are two thicknesses of fabric outwardly of the usually extremely inexpensive, being a by-product naturally available when T-shirts are produced. Due to the fact that the several thicknesses of soft fabric can move individually to some slight extent but will remain in generally fixed relation relative to the body joint, any friction caused by the movement of the body joint against the bed sheets occurs between the protector and the sheet rather than between the arm and the protector. As a result, the protectors are extremely efficient in the protection of the body joints and at the same time can fabric body, including an upper member and a lower member, the lower member having oppositely arcuated side edges converging to form pointed ends, the upper member extending substantially one half the length of the lower member and having side edges contiguous with the edges of the lower member and being secured thereto, the lower member being longitudinally slit to a point adjacent the end of the upper member, the members being folded along their longitudinal center line, with the upper member innermost, and means's'ecuring the folded sides of the lower member together adjoining the end of the upper member.
2. The structure of claim "1 and in which the upper member is of similar outline shape to the lower member, and is folded intermediate its ends.
3. The structure of claim 1 and in which the lower member comprises two plies of fabric secured in contiguous relation.
4. A body joint protector comprising an elongated fabric body including two members of similar outline shape, the members having oppositely arcuated side edges converging to form pointed ends, one member being folded intermediate its ends and having its arcuate edges secured in contiguous relation to the arcuate edges of one half of the length of the other of said members, the said other member being longitudinally slit through substantially the length of the other half thereof, the members being folded along the longitudinal center line and the sides of said other member being secured together adjacent to the fold line intermediate the ends of said one member.
5. The structure of claim 4 and in which said other member comprises two plies of fabric secured in contiguous realtion.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS