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Publication numberUS2989050 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 20, 1961
Filing dateMay 4, 1955
Priority dateMay 4, 1955
Publication numberUS 2989050 A, US 2989050A, US-A-2989050, US2989050 A, US2989050A
InventorsAlfred M Mayo, Howard F Garrard
Original AssigneeAlfred M Mayo, Howard F Garrard
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Warning device
US 2989050 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 20, 1961 MAYO ETAL 2,989,050

WARNING DEVICE Filed May 4, 1955 25 r .II J:

INVENTORS ALFRED M. MAYO HOWARD E 6ARRARO FIG. 4 BY A-- ATTORN United States Pate I 2,989,050 T WARNING DEVICE Alfred M. Mayo, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. (6810 Clay 'St., xon.'I-Iill, Md.);' and Howard F. Garrard, 113 Sheldon Ave., El Segundo, Calif. v 1 Filed May 4, 1955, Ser. No. 506,028.

7 Claims. (Cl. 128-2) This invention relates to warning devices and more particularly to devices adapted to be worn by a skin diver who may be subject to a low external body pressure relative to the internal lung pressure, the device being operable to warn the skin diverof the necessity to exhale to prevent overexpansion of his lungs.

The physiological make-up of the human body is such that the passage of air through the glottis, namely the act of breathing, is controlled by the nervous system in accordance with the oxygen requirements of the body, and there are no pressure-sensitivenerves related to the lungs or other organs of the breathing system for controlling,

the breathing process. The glottis is protected or closed during the act of. swallowing by means of the epiglottis and related arytenoid cartilages, and the latter organs are so characterized as to close the glottis when the process of breathing is not taking place. Also, theseorgans tend to close the glottis when the pressure within the lungs exceeds the external body pressure as in the case of an individual breathing under water, unless the nervous system functions to open the glottis responsively to oxygen requirements.

When an individual breathes under normal conditions the pressure of the air within his lungs corresponds substantially to the external pressure surrounding his body. However, should the external pressure decrease, in the absence of concurrent functioning of the nervous system to initiate the breathing process, the glottis would be closed by the epiglottis and the arytenoid cartilages and relatively high pressure would be trapped in the lungs. Should the pressure differential between the internal lung pressure and the relatively low external body pressure increase to a high value, the alveoli of the lungs will rupture allowing air bubbles to enter the blood stream, resulting in death of the individual due to occlusion of a blood vessel. This results from the absence of sensory nerves associated with the lung, such as a pain warning, to indicate to the individual, conciously or unconsciously, the presence of relatively high pressure in his lungs and the necessity to exhale.

The foregoing physiological make-up of the human body occasions the only real danger attendant skin diving whether followed as a sport or as a means of gainful employment. In skin diving the individual is not clothed in a pressurized diving suit but is only provided with a source of compressed breathing gas, such as air, which is supplied, by means of a breathing regulator, directly to his lungs. The breathing regulator automatically operates to supply a source of breathing gas responsively to the.

demand of the skin diver at.a pressure regulated in accordance with the external body pressure. Thus, as the skin diver explores to a greater depth below the surface of the water, the breathing regulator functions to increase the pressure of the breathing gas in accordance with the external body pressure and maintain the pressure relation.

ship required for normal breathing. However, should the skin diver swim upwardly in order to escape danger or because of an injury or while in the pursuit of game, a

decrease in the external body pressure will result, and in lung pressure. 7 If the air trapped in the lungs builds up to a critical value the lungs will rupture and death may to be wornby, a skin'diver who may be subject to rapidly decreasing external pressures witha concomitant relative increase of the air pressure in his lungs, operable to transmit a sensory warning to the skin diver indicative of a dangerously relatively high pressure condition in his lungs.

j Still another object of the present invention is to pro vide a warning device of the foregoing character operable responsively to abnormal pressure differentials between the internal lung pressure and the external body pressure of a skin diver. 7

Still another object is to provide a warning device of the above type operable responsively to abnormal chest expansion of the skin diver.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a warning device for use by skin divers operable to positively indicate to the skin diver the necessity of exhaling upon the skin diver moving from an area of high external body pressure to an area of relatively low external body pressure.

Other objects and features of the present invention will appear more fully below from the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawing which discloses one embodiment of the invention. It is tobe expressly understood, however, that the drawing is designed for purposes of illustration only and not asa definition of the limits of the invention, reference for the latter purpose being had to the appended claims.

In the drawing, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements through the several views:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of a warning device embodying the principles of the present invention in operative position on the body of a skin diver, the body being shown in horizontal section;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged side elevational view, partially in section, of the warning device of FIG. 1, the warning device being in non-warning position;

FIG. 3 is a view in section taken along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 2, and

'FIG. 4 is an enlarged side elevational view, partially in section, of the warning device of FIG. 1, the warning device being shown in warning position.

The present invention provides a warning device adapted to be worn by a skin diver who may be subject to rapidly decreasing external body pressure with'concomitant relative increase of the internal lung pressure, operable to warn the skin diver upon the relatively high pressure in his lungs exceeding a critical value so that he may exhale and prevent over-expansion of his lungs. According to the broad concepts of the present invention the warning device includes a supporting structure adapted to besecured about the body of the skin diver and a sensory signal producing means mounted on the.

supporting structure. The signal producing means. is

operable to transmit to the skin diver a sensory signal indicative of an excessive pressure differential between the external body pressure and the internal lung pressure. The foregoing will be more fully understood with reference to FIG. 1 of the drawing which illustrates a warm ing device constructed in accordance with the principles 10 of a skindiver.

gether atthe sternum '13 and a layer of skin 14. covering the ribs and constituting the external surface oftthe-l Patented June 20,

body. The warning device comprises an adjustable harness 15, shown wrapped around the body with its ends joined together by means of a buckle mechanism 16 in the region of the sternum, and a signal producing mechanism 17 supported by the harness. In this form of the invention the signal producing mechanism is operable to transmit a warning to the skin diver by affecting his touch senses and, as described more fully below, includes a member adapted to be moved into sensory contact with a sensitive portion of the body. The signal producing mechanism 17 is thus positioned adjacent the front of the skin divers body, to the right or to the left of the sternum, in proper vertical relationship so that the body contacting member is adapted to move into contact with an area of the external skin 14 between adjacent ribs, which area has been found to possess sufficient sensitivity for the purposes of the present invention. Also, in the disclosed form of the invention, the signal producing means operates responsively to an abnormal pressure differential between the internal lung pressure and the external body pressure through the harness 15 which is responsive to expansion of the skin divers chest.

Construction of the signal producing mechanism 17 and its relationship with the harness 15 is shown in detail in FIG. 2 of the drawing. The harness 15 comprises an elongated strap formed of inelastic material with its ends, as mentioned above, joined together by means of a buckle 516. At a point displaced from either side of the buckle 16, such as on the left hand side, as viewed in the drawing, for example, the inelastic strap 15 is provided with a portion 20 projecting outwardly away from the surface of the skin 14. The projecting portion 20 includes an intermediate flat portion 21 having its opposite edges joined to the outer end edges of side portions 22 and 23, the side portions being inclined downwardly and outwardly with respect to the flat portion 21 with the edges of respective inner ends being joined to the ends of spaced portions 24 and 25 of the inelastic strap 15 lying in contiguous relation with the external surface of the skin 14. A member 26 formed of elastic material such as rubber, for example, is connected between the spaced portions 24 and 25 of the strap 15. The member 26 may have a width substantially corresponding to the width of the strap 15 and a length greater than the normal distance between spaced portions 24 and 25. The inside surface of the member 26 is adapted to lie flat against the skin 14 of the body 10 while its outside surface adjacent its ends lies in contiguous relation with the inside surface of the strap 15 in the region of the spaced portions 24 and 25. The ends of the member 26 may be joined to the portions 214 and 25 by cord bindingf27, or by any other suitable means such as rivets or stitching.

The elastic member 26 is provided with a centrally positioned opening 28 defined by an upwardly extending cylindrical flange member 29 which may be integrally formed with the elastic member. The flange member 29 functions as a guide for a body contacting member 30 extending through the opening 28 and mounted for movement relative to the flange member. The body contacting member 30 is shown in the form of a cylindrical member with its lower end, as viewed in the drawing, terminated in a spherical surface 31 and with its upper end terminated in a flat surface perpendicular to its longitudinal axis. The upper end of the body contacting member may be provided with a rectangular flange 32 to present a total upper end surface corresponding to the dimensions of the lower or inside surface of the intermediate flat portion 21. The body contacting member is secured to the intermediate fiat portion 21 with its upper end surface in contiguous relation with the lower surface of the intermediate flat portion 21- by meansof a stud 33' including a threaded stem 34, adapted to enter a threaded bore 35 located concentrically with the longitudinal axis of the body contacting member, and a cap 36 adapted to engage the outer surface of the intermediate flat portion 21.

In operation, the inelastic harness 15 is strapped about the body of the skin diver in the region of his chest with the signal producing mechanism 17 overlying a sensitive area of the body, as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawing, for example. The harness is adjusted in accordance with the chest size of the body so that the signal producing mechanism 17 is in the non-sensory position shown in FIG. 2 for periods of maximum chest expansion during normal breathing. Since the harness 15 is constructed of inelastic material the spaced portions 24 and 25 will move away from each other upon expansion of the chest. Upon such movement of the spaced portions 24 and 25, the lower ends of the inclined side portions 22 and 23 move therewith causing the intermediate flat portion 21 to move in a direction toward the plane of the harness 15. Since relative outward movement of the spaced portions 24 and 25 is restrained equally by the elastic connecting member 26, the spaced portions will move outwardly an equal distance away from the longitudinal axis of the body contacting member 30. Thus, upon expansion of the chest, the body contacting member will move substantially along its longitudinal axis in a direction toward the skin surface 14. Inasmuch as the body contacting member 30 moves into sensory contact with the body only upon abnormal expansion of the chest, the elastic connecting member 26 is provided with a degree of elasticity to substantially prevent relative outward movement of the spaced portions 24 and 25 upon normal chest expansion, while allowing such relative outward movement upon abnormal chest expansion. Also, the end 31 of the body contacting member may be normally spaced a sufficient distance away from the body contacting surface of the elastic member 26 so that the body contacting member only moves into sensory contact with the body upon abnormal chest expansion. If desired, the elasticity of the connecting member 26 and the spacing of the end 31 of the body contacting member may both be considered in the design of the warning device to preclude a sensory contact between the body and the member 30 responsively to the maximum degree of chest expansion occurring during normal breathing cycles.

Upon abnormal expansion of the chest, which occurs when an abnormal or excessive pressure differential exists between the internal lung pressure and the external body pressure, upon the skin diver moving upwardly from an area of high pressure to an area of relatively low pressure, the spaced portions 24 and 25 move away from each other causing inward movement of the body contacting member 30 into sensory contact with the body. FIG. 4 of the drawing illustrates the signal producing mechanism 17 in a sensory warning position responsively to such abnormal chest expansion. As shown, the spaced portions 24 and 25 are moved outwardly to an extreme position with respect to each other causing the end 31 of the body contacting member 30 to move inwardly beyond the skin contacting surface of the elastic connecting member 26 and into contact with the body. By positioning the harness relative to the body so that inward movement of the body contacting member contacts a sensitive portion of the body, such as the portion between adjacent ribs as shown in FIG. 3, a positive sensory indication is transmitted to the skin diver indicative of the abnormal chest expansion and warning the skin diver that he should exhale.

Although only one embodiment of the invention has been disclosed and described herein, it is to be expressly understood that various changes and substitutions may be made therein, as described above, without departing from the spirit of the invention as well understood by those skilled in the art. Reference therefore will be had to the appended claims for a definition of the limits of theinvention.

What is claimed is:

l. A warning device adapted to be worn by a skin diver who may be subject to a low external body pressure relative to internal lung pressure, comprising signal producing means, the signal producing means including an element operable to produce a sensory signal, supporting means adapted to be secured to a portion of the body of the skin diver to support the element at said portion in sensory relation therewith, and means operative responsively to an abnormal expansion of the chest of the skin diver for operating the element of the signal producing means to produce a sensory signal and warn the skin diver that he must exhale to prevent over-expansion of his lungs.

2. A Warning device as defined in claim 1 in which the means operative responsively to abnormal expansion of the chest of the skin diver includes the supporting means.

3. A warning device adapted to be worn by a skin diver who may be subject to a low external body pressure relative to the internal lung pressure, comprising signal producing means, the signal producing means including an element, supporting means adapted to be secured to a portion of the body of the skin diver to support said element at said portion in sensory relation therewith, the element having an operating state and a non-operating state and being operable from one state to the other state and the element in the operating state producing a sensory signal which is imparted to said portion of the body of the skin diver, means for normally maintaining the element in the non-operating state, and means operative responsively to an abnormal expansion of the chest of the skin diver to operate the element to the operating state and thereby warn the skin diver that he must exhale to prevent over-expansion of his lungs.

4. A warning device adapted to be worn by a skin diver who may be subject to a low external body pressure relative to internal lung pressure, comprising signal producing means, the signal producing means including an element, supporting means adapted to be secured to a portion of the body of the skin diver to support the element at said portion, the element being operable for movement into contact with said portion of the body of the skin diver to transmit a sensory warning to the skin diver, and means operative responsively to an abnormal expansion of the chest of the skin diver for operating the element to warn the skin diver that he must exhale to prevent over-expansion of his lungs.

5. A warning device adapted to be worn by a skin diver who may be subject to a low external body pressure relative to the internal lung pressure, comprising signal producing means, the signal producing means including a movable element, supporting means adapted to be secured to a portion of the body of the skin diver for supporting the element at said portion, the element being movable between a first position out of contact with said portion of the body of the skin diver and a second position in contact with said portion of the body of the skin diver to impart a sensory warning to the skin diver, means normally maintaining the element in the first position, and means operative responsively to abnormal expansion of the chest of the skin diver to move the element to the second position and warn the skin diver that he must exhale to prevent over-expansion of his lungs.

6. A warning device adapted to be worn by a skin diver who may be subject to a low external body pressure relative to the internal lung pressure, comprising an inelastic strap adapted to be positioned around the body of the skin diver in the region of the chest, the inelastic strap including spaced relatively movable portions, signal producing means mounted on the inelastic strap in the region of the spaced relatively movable portions and connected to the spaced relatively movable portions, the signal producing means including a movable member movable between a first position out of sensory contact with the chest of the skin diver and a second position in sensory contact with the chest of the skin diver, means for normally maintaining the movable member in the first position, means for moving the movable member to the second position, and means responsive to relative outward movement of the spaced relative movable portions of the inelastic strap for operating the last-named means to warn the skin diver that he must exhale to prevent overexpansion of his lungs.

7. A warning device adapted to be worn by a skin diver who may be subject to a low external body pressure relative to the internal lung pressure to warn the skin diver that he must exhale to prevent over-expansion of his lungs, comprising an inelastic strap having first and second surfaces, means to secure the inelastic strap in chest encircling position, the inelastic strap including a flexible loop portion projecting outwardly from the first surface to present spaced end portions of the inelastic strap, an elastic member connected to the spaced end portions of the inelastic strap to bridge the space between the spaced end portions, the elastic member having an opening, and signal producing means mounted on the loop portion, the signal producing means including a member movable through the opening in a direction toward the second surface of the inelastic strap upon movement of the spaced portions away from each other.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,428,980 McCann Oct. 14, 1947

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2428980 *Oct 16, 1945Oct 14, 1947Chris MccannGauge for measuring chest expansion
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4421124 *Jun 8, 1981Dec 20, 1983Lee MarshallPressure detection arrangement
US4730646 *Aug 19, 1986Mar 15, 1988Select Service & Supply Co., Inc.Method for controlling proper inflation of athletic balls
US5277194 *Jun 4, 1991Jan 11, 1994Craig HostermanBreathing monitor and stimulator
US5989401 *Jul 1, 1998Nov 23, 1999Chrysler CorporationExpandable vertical dip pretreatment and electro-deposition system
Classifications
U.S. Classification600/534, 33/512, 128/905, 116/268, 600/595, 600/561
International ClassificationB63C11/22
Cooperative ClassificationY10S128/905, B63C11/22
European ClassificationB63C11/22