US 3106028 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1963 J. G. BAUMGARTNER 3,106,028
IDENTIFICATION BAND Filed May 26, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet-1 H BLUE TAB AT ON AFTER CARDIN BAND IATI 3 time rim 1 msimms g b 2 2a,
J. G. BAUMGARTNER 3,106,028
IDENTIFICATION BAND Oct. 8, 1963 v 37 6 22a 1 3 ml 221) ZHIIIIIIHHW/Aillllllhf/. ///.\\\\\l|l\\ I "minimum L United States Patent 3,106,028 IDENTIFICATION BAND Filed May 26, 1960, Ser. No. 31,929 5 Claims. (Cl. SO- 21) This invention relates generally to identification bands or bracelets worn by a person on the wrist or around the arm, and including therewith the desired identification of the wearer. More particularly this invent-ion concerns an all-plastic identification band or bracelet which is san itary and provided in a completely assembled condition for easy and rapid application to the arm of a patient in the hospital, and particularly to newborn infants, so as to provide positive identification for the patient or infant during their entire stay in the hospital.
This application is a continuation in part of application SerialNo. 803,654, filed April 2, 1959 and now abandoned.
Although identification bands or bracelets have been known for many years and had a tremendous application during the War, identification bands used in the hospital field have been objectionable from several standpoints. One objection of the prior bands was that they were in more than one piece and consequently required some care in storage of the parts and then in assembling the parts for applicationto a person in the hospital. Both time and simplicity of action are essential in all hospital activities, and the conditions at the time of application of an identification band are often such that difficulty in placing the band on the patient or newborn infant berequired for proper application of the device.
In addition, there has been the problem of safeguarding against the risk of premature removal of the band, for unless an identification band is tamper-proof and can only be removed with difficulty, the fundamental purpose for using such a band will 'be defeated.
In view of the fact that many millions of bands are now being used each year in hospitals, and the expectation that more and more hospitals will require the practice of applying identification bands upon entering a hospital, the provision of a band with all of the necessary and desirable features has become an extremely important commercial and medical problem.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a fully assembled identification band for use in a hospital and elsewhere which is sanitary and meets "all requirements for a product intended for hospital use.
Another object is to provide such an identification band which is rugged, and yet simple and inexpensive in structure, so as to satisfy the mass need for a reliable device and be disposable after just one use. 7
A still further object of the invention is to provide a plastic identification band in a construction such that it may be quickly and simply fitted to and fastened upon the wrist of a person without the use of any tools, and of a construction so that it is retained on the wrist in a position which is locked for all practical purposes and can be removed only by cutting the band or by some corresponding action.
A feature of my invention is the provision of an identi- 3,105,028 Patented Oct. 8, 1963 fication band with a molded structure in one piece serving as the body therefor which carries a pocket forming envelope readily assembled thereon by being sealed only to itself in a fixed position on the structure, and which band requires no other assembly of parts in order to make it ready for use.
Another feature of my invention is the provision of a one-piece plastic identification band which is flexible to a degree but has a minimum of elasticity, and constitutes a band which may be quickly fitted around the wrist or arm of a patient without the use of tools. Thereafter the band can be removed only but cutting it with scissors or the like so that the patients identity is assured until the hospital desires the band removed.
Still another feature is the Provision of such a band having integral fastener and strap portions which will lock themselves in a desired position as the band is fitted around the patients Wrist or arm, and which will resist unfastening and removal from the patient.
A further feature of the invention is the provision of such an identification b and in a soft, moisture resistant or waterproof, non-toxic plastic product available for use in the hospital as an inexpensive item which must be destroyed to be removed from the patient, and is therefore not reusable.
In the accompanying drawings:
. FIG. 1 is a plan view in actual size of one commercial embodiment of an identification band in accordance with the present invention with an identification card shown alongside the band receiving pocket thereof;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating the method of applying the band to the wrist of a patient;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the band fastened on the wrist of the patient;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary top view of the identification card holding pocket, the card, the buckle, and the strap, with the latter being threaded through the buckle in the manner of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the structure of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a sectional side view taken on the line 66 of FIG. 5 showing the strap and buckle in threading position;
FIG. 7 is a sectional View along the line 77 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary view of the underside of the device in a position corresponding to that of FIG. 5, but with the strap in an advanced adjusted and locked position relative to FIG. 5;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view along the line 99 of FIG. 8, but with the buckle in the side position of FIG. 6, and with the tongue of the buckle in a relaxed locking position;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary view corresponding in size to the illustrations of FIGS. 4, 5 and 8, and in the position of FIG. 8, showing the underside of the pocket of the identification band and a card therein as inserted from the opening on that side;
FIG. 11 is a sectional side view along the line 1111 of FIG. 10, but with the tongue of the buckle in a taut position resisting removal of the strap therefrom;
FIG. 12 is a greatly enlarged sectional view transversely of the pocket along the line 1212 of FIG. 11; and
FIG. 13 is an exploded fragmentary detail of the pocket, strap and fastener portions.
In accordance with the present invention a patient identification band primarily for use in hospitals is provided in a unitary plastic product having a strap portion and an integral buckle portion on one end thereof to threadably receive the opposite or loose end of the strap portion therethrough. Apertures are provided longitudinally of the strap portion to provide adjustment of the band to various wrist or arm sizes. Once a particular aperture or hole has been drawn into register with the integral plastic tongue provided within the buckle, reverse travel of the strap is prevented and the band will be locked in that adjustment. A pocket portion is provided as an integral portion of the strap and enclosed with a sealed transparent envelope to visibly house an identification card. The buckle, strap body, and strap portions of the band are entirely composed of integral elements and it is therefore readily produced by low cost injection molding methods, while the closure portions for the strap body which form a card pocket therewith are provided in plastic sheets which are sealed together and to the strap body.
The identification band generally indicated at 15 in FIG. 1 is shown in actual size and includes an integral buckle portion 16 at one end thereof, a wider pocket portion 17 formed in the strap body to house identification card 18, and a narrower strap portion 19 having spaced tongue holes 20 therethrough and which terminates in a loose end formed into a pair of prong-like starter ears 21. The fiat pocket portion 17 is enclosed by a transparent envelope 22 so that the identification data entered on the identification card will be visible therethrough after the card is inserted in the pocket. The construction of the pocket will be described later in more detail.
As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 the bracelet is placed on a body member, such as the wrist, with the raised portion of the buckle 16 and the data side of the pocket portion 17 facing outward. Then the starter ears 21 on the end of the strap portion 19 are brought around the wrist and threaded through the buckle portion 16 a distance sufiicient to allow them to be grasped with the fingers of one hand as shown in FIG. 2. The sides of the buckle 16 are then grasped between the thumb and forefinger of the other hand in a pinching posture and the perforated portion of the strap is drawn through the buckle until the bracelet fits the wrist as shown in FIG. 3. Due to the features of the bracelet hereafter described in detail, the strap is then locked by the buckle against return movement of the strap, thus preventing removal of the bracelet from the wrist. The excess strap material is then cut off and discarded and the band remains at the desired circumference.
The structure and cooperation of the buckle 16 and strap 19 are shown more fully in FIGS. 4 through 11. Arrows indicating the direction of movement of the strap portion when assembling on the patient are shown on the thumb in FIG. 2, on the left-hand side of the strap in FIGS. 4 and and on the right-hand side in FIG. 6. The arrow in FIG. 11 shows the direction of pull on the strap portion when the buckle acts to prevent separation of the strap from the buckle in locked position.
Referring first to FIG. 5, the underside of the buckle generally indicated at 16 includes a pair of spaced sides 25 with serrations 26 on the outer surfaces thereof which provide a better gripping surface for the threading operation as described in connection with FIG. 2. The sides 26 are integral with bottom portions 27 and 28 (FIG. 9), which portions are spaced from each other to form the slot 29 therebetween. To facilitate the threading operation, the slot edge of the bottom portion 27 is cut away to form recess '30 and the upper surface 31 of portion 27 is sloped downwardly into slot 29 (FIG. 9). The slot edge of the bottom portion 23 is provided with an upwardly tapering lip 32 along the center portion thereof, which may be more clearly seen in section in FIG. 9. The slot edges of the bottom portions 27 and 28 will have a slight draft angle, as illustrated in the sectional views, when the bracelet is produced by an injection molding process.
A bridge 35 is provided on the upper side of the buckle 16 integral with the sides 25 to span the slot 29 and to form a longitudinal passageway for receiving the strap. This may be more clearly seen in the top view of FIG. 4 and in the sectional view of FIG. 7. The upper side of which converge in an integral half-spherical reinforcing knob 37. It will be noted from FIG. 9 that the under surface of the bridge 35 is spaced from the upper surfaces of the bottom portions 27 and 28 a distance slightly greater than the thickness of the strap 19 received therebetween.
The unstrained relationship of a tongue 38 with respect to the bridge 35 is shown in the sectional view of FIG. 9. The tongue 38 is carried integrally dependent on the underside of the bridge 35 and extends downwardly at an acute angle therewith into the slot 29. The forward and rearward sides of tongue 38 are inclined at substantially the same angle of incidence A, except for the portions of the surfaces which form the hook-shaped portion at the lower end of the tongue.
In order to provide an adjustable identification band, the strap 19 is perforated with a plurality of tongue holes 2%) spaced along the center line thereof for substantially the entire length of the strap. These tongue holes have parallel sides spaced a distance slightly Wider than the lateral thickness of the tongue 38 to allow the tongue to pass therethrough. The transverse locking surfaces 39 of the tongue holes 20 are inclined by an amount represented by the angle B (FIG. 11) so that a wedge-like engagement may be obtained in the acute angle formed between the undersurface of the bridge 35 and the rear surface of the tongue 38. The threading surfaces 4 of center holes 2b opposite the locking surfaces 39 are V-shaped to provide a converging surface to engage the tongue 33 therebetween (FIGS. 5 and 6).
When the strap 19 is positioned within the buckle 16, these elements cooperate to provide a unidirectionally adjustable locking bracelet. Thethreading operation is commenced by inserting the starter ears 21 between the undersurface of the bridge 35 and the upper surface of the bottom portions 27 and 28 and on either side of the tongue 38. Then by pushing them therethrough to pass over slot 29, they will be available as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 for pulling in the direction of the arrow shown on the operators thumb. The fiat surfaces of the starter cars 21 have serrations 21a, as shown in FIG. 4, to facilitate gripping them. The V-shaped closed end of the slot between the starter ears 21 (FIG. 1) will thus be brought to bear against the side edges of the tongue 38. Gripping the sides 25 of the buckle with the other hand, the strap 19 is then further pulled in the threading direction. The threading surface of the slot bears against the forwardsurface of the tongue 38, and the tongue is bent rearwardly to the defonmed position shown in FIGS. 5, 6, and 7, as the strap is pulled to the desired adjusted position. The converging threading surfaces 40 tend to force the tongue upwardly out of slot 29. Simultaneously the strap 19 is deformed downward into the slot 29 of the buckle, which deformation is aided by the deformation of the slot edges of the bottom portions 27 and 28 and by flexure of bridge portion 35 (FIGS. 6 and 7). When the tongue 38 is fully deformed it will be retracted backwardly against the undersurface of the bridge 35, thus allowing the solid portion of the strap 19 to overrun the hook-shaped end of the depressed tongue as the strap passes through the slot 29.
When the first of the tongue holes 20 comes into register with the end of the tongue 33 the flexible tongue will return to its relaxed position dependent in the center of the slot 29, thereby projecting through hole 20 as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. Due to the resiliency of the plastic, the bottom and bridge portions will return to their prior unstrained positions to hold the strap 19 snugly between the bottom of the buckle and the underside of the bridge 35 (FIG. 9). The longitudinal dimension of each tongue hole 20 exceeds the longitudinal thickness of the tongue 38 by an amount sufiicient to allow a slight degree of play in the band. Thus an expansion factor may be provided without affecting the locking features should it be desired to accommodate abnormal expansion and contraction conditions of the wrist, arm, or other part of the body to which the bracelet is being attached.
As shown in FIGS. and 11, reverse travel of the strap 19 will bring the angled locking surface 39 of the tongue hole 20 into engagement with the rear side of the tongue 38 to lock the bracelet in position. If further force is exerted on the strap in the reverse direction the strap will be wedged more tightly into the acute angle complementary to angle A, thereby making the engagement between the strap and tongue more secure, as illustrated from the relaxed position of FIGS. 8 and 9 to the taut position of FIGS. 10 and 11, whereby the hookshaped end of the tongue bears against the inclined lip 32 of the bottom portion 28. With lip 32 providing a locking surface which acts as a safety catch on the de formed tongue,- no further reverse movement of the strap is possible and rupture of the strap will occur before the failure point of the locking elements is reached. Thus once the strap is threaded to the first hole position no reverse threading is possible and even at that position the hospital attendant, for instance, is assured that the identification band will not become u-nfastened and lost. However, the strap may be threaded forward to advance subsequent tongue holes 20 under bridge 35 and into engaged position with the tongue 38, the resiliency of the buckle and strap elements allowing a repetition of the defionmation sequence over the entire length of the strap without impairing the functioning of the device.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention it has been found that the following dimensions and angular relationships will provide suitable operation:
Angle A 45. Angle B 30. Thickness of strap 19 .050 inch. Height of passage between bridge 35 and bottom portions 27 and 28 .052 inch. V-angle of threading edges 40 60. Width of tongue 38 .156 inch. Width of tongue hole 20 and of slot between star-ter ear 21 .164 inch. Angle of sloping edge 31 from the horizontal Longitudinal width of bridge 35 15/64 inch.
Horizontal distance between forward edge of bridge 35 and slot edge of bottom portion 28 .009 inch. Distance between incline surface of lip 32 and forward surface of the hook-shaped end of tongue 38 .060 inch. Distance between inner surfaws of sides 25- .443 inch. Width of strap 19 .438 inch. Bracelet material polyethylene. Material of pocket envelope 22 vinyl.
It is to be understood that the above dimensions and materials are not intended to limit the invention, but are included for a more complete description of an embodiment of the invention.
As was previously described, the identification band is provided with a widened pocket portion 17 formed in the strap body between buckle portion 16 and strap portion 19. The details of the construction of the pocket and envelope assembly are best shown in FIGS. 8-13. The strap body is flared out into a flat, wide rectangular portion 17 having a shallow rectangular pocket recess 171: formed therein to receive and position the identification card 18. A cover in the form of a transparent vinyl plastic envelope 22. encloses pocket portion 17. The inner and outer layers 22a and 22b respectively of envelope 22 consist of two thin, elongated vinyl plastic sheets which are large enough to extend beyond the longitudinal side edges of portion 17. One of these vinyl sheets is positioned on each face of portion 17 and then the sheets are electronically sealed to one another along the side edges of the portion 17 (FIGS. 8 and 12) by applying a radio frequency current through a suitable die. Thus, recess 17a is enclosed by bottom layer 22a of envelope 22 and the vinyl envelope is held in position by the polyethylene pocket portion 17. One end of envelope 22 is also sealed by electronically sealing the sheets 22a and 2212 together through an aperture 45 in the strap portion 19 to further maintain the envelope pieces together and to prevent the identification card from working out of the pocket from that end.
Although a satisfactory seal or cement of vinyl sheet to the polyethylene member is not possible this construction and positioning provides a pocket for the card which is effectively a part of the entire device as though it were integral therewith, and the pocket protects the card against damage while on the arm, wrist, or the like for the patient.
Referring now to FIGS. 9 and 10, it will be seen that the inner or bottom layer 22a of envelope 22 extends beyond the end of the rectangular recess 17a in the pocket portion 17 to provide a flap portion 22a adjacent to the bottom portion 27 of the buckle. This flap 22af is pulled downwardly to facilitate insertion of the card 18 into the pocket portion 17, as indicated in FIG. 9. When the card 18 is fully inserted the tab 18a bearing the insertion ilr structions is torn off at the perforated line and discarded, leaving the identification card within the pocket formed by recess 17a in portion 17 and by the surrounding sealed envelope 22. Since the pocket recess 17a of portion 17 and the envelope flap 22a are provided on'the under side of the bracelet, any tendency of the card to Work out of the flap end will be resisted by the curvature of the bracelet against the body member to which it is attached.
What is claimed is:
1. An identification band for use on a persons wrist or like portion of such wearer, such band comprising a unitary polyethylene member having an identification card receiving portion with an integral fastener portion extending longitudinally therefrom at one end of said identification card receiving portion and an integral apertured strap portion extending longitudinally therefrom at the other end of said identification card receiving portion, with said apertured strap portion adapted to be threaded through a central bore configuration of said fastener portion, said fastener portion further having an integral inwardly extending fastener tongue to flexibly and automatically extend into a selected aperture in the strap portion to lock such strap portion in a desired position,. and first and second vinyl plastic elements located on opposite sides of said identification card receiving portion, with said vinyl plastic elements sealed together at each edge immediately outside the adjacent corresponding longitudinal edge of the identification card receiving portion and'sealed together at one end of each element through a strap portion aperture, said plastic elements being separated at the other end adjacent the fastener portion to provide a pocket for insertion of an identification card which is adapted to be retained therein between one plastic element and the other adjacent face of the identification card receiving portion of said polyethylene plastic member.
2. An identification band for a patient in a hospital or in a like situation where identification at all times is desired, said band comprising a one-piece flexible member of plastic material having an elongated apertured strap portion, an identification-card-receiving portion extending longitudinally from said strap portion and integral therewith, and a buckle portion extending from said card receiving portion and integral therewith having a central bore configuration for receiving said strap portion therein, said buckle portion having an apertured wall forming one side of said bore in said buckle, a bridging portion forming an opposite side of said bore, and an integral yieldable tongue on said bridging portion extending into the aperture in the opposite wall, said tongue having a bendable neck portion directly integral with said bridging portion and having a hook-shaped extension thereon with said extension in the unbent condition of said tongue being spaced from an edge of said opposite Wall-aperture on the side of said tongue first engaged by said strap portion as it is threaded into the buckle for mounting the band on a person, said tongue being shaped on the opposite side thereof to provide a cavity immediately adjacent the point where said neck portion extends from said bridging portion, with said tongue bending in the direction of movement therethrough of said strap portion in a band-mounting operation to open the bore and permit said movement and with said tongue bending in the opposite direction when an effort is made to withdraw said strap portion from said buckle portion, and with an edge of a strap portion aperture adapted to engage in the cavity of said tongue and pull said tongue into locking position with said edge of said opposite-wall-aperture when the identification band is expanded to prevent withdrawal of said strap portion from said buckle portion.
3. A plastic band adapted to be mounted on the Wrist or a similar member of the person wearing the band, said band comprising a one-piece unit complete in unitary construction with a buckle portion for fastening the band on the wearer and a strap portion having a loose end for encircling such member of the wearer, said buckle portion having oppositely disposed side portions spaced apart by a bridge portion and by a bottom portion opposite therefrom, said side, bridge and bottom portions being dimensioned relative to one another to form a yieldable threading passage through said buckle portion for receiving said strap portion with a close clearance fit therethrough, said buckle portion having an integral flexile tongue extending into the center of the threading passage and having a passage locking surface spaced from the side of said tongue engaged by said strap portion as it is moved in a threading direction through the passage,
said locking surface being shaped to limit flexing of said tongue in the direction opposite to said threading direction, said strap portion including a plurality of longitudinally spaced tongue holes therein with each such hole having a V-shaped threading edge and a transverse locking edge and adapted to receive the tongue at an adjusted position of the strap portion, said loose end of said strap portion being slotted to form a pair of starter ears shaped to be threadably received in the threading passage to bypass said tongue 1n the threading direction until said ears extend beyond said buckle portion in position to be grasped by the person placing the plastic band on a wearer and pulled in said threading direction, said strap portion with spaced tongue holes being movable in said threading direction through said buckle portion with said hole threading edges and the adjacent portion of the strap flexing said tongue and with said bridge and bottom portions yielding to allow passage of said strap portion therethrough until a desired tongue hole is drawn under said bridge portion to receive said tongue therethrough, said tongue being engaged by said hole locking edge and locking against said passage locking surface when the travel of said strap portion is reversed whereby the band is secured in the desired position on the wearer.
4. A disposable plastic identification band for use on a persons wrist or like portion of such wearer and particularly adapted to identify that person while a patient in a hospital, said band comprising a oneapiece polyethylene member having a pocket body portion with an integral fastener Portion extending longitudinally therefrom at one end of said pocket-body portion and an integral a ertured strap portion extending longitudinally therefrom at the other end of said pocket-body portion, a pair of vinyl plastic elements with one on each side of the pockctbody portion which are sealed together at each edge immediately outside the adjacent corresponding longitudinal edge of the pocket-body portion and which are sealed together at one'end of each element through a strapportion aperture but are separated at the other end adjacent the fastener portion to provide a pocket for insertion at that end of an identification card which is adapted to be retained therein between one plastic element and the adjacent face of the pocket-body portion, with said apertured strap portion being adapted to be threaded through the fastener portion and over the outside of the adjacent plastic element at the pocket-body portion, and a fastener tongue integral with said fastener portion, extending inwardly thereof, and adapted to flexibly and automatically extend into a selected aperture in the strap portion to lock such strap portion in a desired adjusted position of the disposable plastic band on the wearer.
5. A disposable identification band comprising a oneuiecepolyethylene member of unitary construction, said member having a-fiexible strap portion with a loose end for encircling a body member, a buckle portion for fastening the band, and a flat pocket portion intermediate said strap and buckle portions having a recess therein for receiving an identification card, an envelope surrounding said pocket port-ion but being free thereof and comprising two layers of vinyl plastic, one on each side of said pocket portion and held thereabout by one layer being sealed to the other layer along the longitudinal edges of said pocket portion, said buckle portion including oppositely disposed side portions connected by an apcrtured bottom portion and by a bridge portion across the top of said side portions opposite the aperture of said bottom portion, said side, bottom and bridge portions of said buckle portion forming a threading passage therethrough for said strap portion, said bridge portion having a shaped tongue extending therefrom into the aperture, said strap portion having a plurality of longitudinally spaced tongue holes therein each having a vV-slraped threading edge and a transverse locking edge, 'said strap portion terminating in a loose end slotted to form a pair of starter ears which have a threading surface thereon whereby said starter ears may be thread ably received under said bridge portion to bypass said tongue in a threading direction until said ears extend beyond said buckle portion in position to be grasped and pulled in said threading direction, said strap portion with tongue holes adapted to be pulled in said threading direction through said buckle pontion with the threading edge of each hole and adjacent strap port-ion flexing said tongue in said threading direction to allow passage :of said strap portion therethrough until a desired tongue hole is drawn under said bridge [portion to receive said tongue therethrough, and with said tongue being locked in 'a tongue hole by the locking edge thereof acting to flex the tongue against an edge or" the aperture when the travel of said strap is reversed so as to secure the band in the desired position.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS I