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Publication numberUS3107863 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 22, 1963
Filing dateOct 31, 1960
Priority dateOct 31, 1960
Publication numberUS 3107863 A, US 3107863A, US-A-3107863, US3107863 A, US3107863A
InventorsGennady Potapenko
Original AssigneeReginald Robbins
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Air directing isolation apparatus
US 3107863 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 22, 1963 PQTAPENRQ I 3,107,863

AIR DIRECTING ISOLATION APPARATUS Filed on. 51, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.

Gennady Pofapenko ATTORNEY Oct. 22, 1963 POTAPENKO 3,107,863

AIR DIRECTING ISOLATION APPARATUS Filed Oct. 3],, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Ge/mady Pofapenko 8Y6 M 1%TTORNEY United States Patent 3,107,863 AIR DIRECTING ISOLATION APPARATUS Gennady Potapenko, Pasadena, Calif., assignor to Reginald Robbins, Pacific Palisades, Calif. Filed Oct. 31, 196$), Ser. No. 66,112 7 Claims. (Cl. 240-14) This invention relates to air sterilization apparatus, and more particularly to such apparatus which is adapted to focus or direct light and substantially sterile air upon a predetermined area.

This application is a continuation-in-part application from U.S. patent application Serial No. 817,327 filed June 1, 1959 by Gennady Potapenko and entitled Method and System for the Prevention of the Spread of Infectious Disease by Airborne Microorganisms.

It is well known in the prior art that even though all presently accepted techniques for maintaining surgical areas clean are followed by hospital personnel, some microorganisms are present in such areas even during the period of time that operations are being conducted. These microorganisms may be excreted by medical attendants during the period when an operation is being performed for example, through talking, coughing, sneezing, or the like, even though surgical masks may be worn. Furthermore, the microorganisms may be residually present within the surgical area and not removed by the usual disinfecting techniques employed in such areas.

Even though fresh air is constantlysupplied to the surgical area during the period of time that an operation is being performed the microorganisms present therein cannot all be washed away by the constant fresh air supply. This is true even though the fresh air supply is sterilized prior to supplying it to the surgical area. Since some microorganisms are for various reasons present within sugical areas, such as the operating rooms of hospitals, and doctors oflices, where minor surgery is carried out, the break in the patients skin which is produced by the incision may have these airborne microorganisms precipitated therein. If such airborne microorganisms are so precipitated into the incision, and the microorganism is an infectious disease carrying type, the patient may be thereby infected.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide apparatus for effectively isolating the body areas surrounding a surgical incision from the surrounding atmosphere to thereby exclude microorganisms which may be pesent in the surrounding air from the area of the surgical incision.

It is another object of the present invention to provide apparatus for directing a constant flow of sterile air upon a predetermined area which apparatus does not further congest operating rooms, which may add to the comfort of the medical attendants and which is readily and easily movable and adjustable.

It is another object of the present invention to provide apparatus for directing a constant flow of substantially sterile air upon a predetermined area which apparatus may be incorporated within existing operating room equipment.

Other objects and advantages of the apparatus in accordance with the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which are presented by way of example only and are not intended as a limitation upon the scope of the present invention, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a surgical lamp in accordance with the present invention as it would appear in actual use;

3-,l7,8fi3 Patented Get. 22, 1963 FIG. 2. is an elevational view, partly in cross-section, of a surgical lamp in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view, partly in cross-section, of an alternative embodiment of a surgical lamp in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an elevational view, partly in cross-section, of an additional embodiment of a surgical lamp in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is an elevational view of a surgical lamp in accordance with the present invention illustrating an additional manner in which it may be used.

In accordance with one aspect of the apparatus of the present invention, there is provided a surgical lamp for use in combination with a source of sterile air. The sterile air source is interconnected with the lamp in order to provide a continuous flow of sterile air therethrough. The surgical lamp includes at least one opening therein which is adapted to direct the sterile air in such a manner as to cause it to fall upon a predetermined desired area which is normally that area immediately surrounding and including the area in which the incision is to be made.

in accordance with one specific aspect of the apparatus in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a surgical lamp which is interconnected'with a source of sterile air in such a manner that the sterile air may flow from the surgical lamp. Air directing means is adapted to focus or direct the sterile air upon the predetermined desired area which may be the area of the incision as above pointed out.

It is well known in the prior art that most surgical areas, whether they be located in an operating room within a hospital or in the surgical area of a doctors office, are frequently quite congested with the equipment which is necessary and desired to assist the doctor in the proper performance of the surgery. One piece of equipment which is always utilized in the surgical areas is the surgical lamp. It is also known that large amounts of heat are generated by surgical lamps. This heat adds to the discomfort of the doctor and the other surgical attendants who may be present during the performance of an operation. Additional equipment within the surgical area to assist the doctor, to protect the patient, or to increase the comfort of the doctor or his assistants is therefore not normally desired under the present condi tions.

In accordance with one feature of the surgicallamp of the present invention, each of the above objectives are carried out without adding to the equipment which is presently utilized in a surgical area.

Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 1 thereof, there is illustrated for purposes of example only,la portion of an operating room in a hospital in which a surgical lamp in accordance with the present invention is appropriately mounted for use. The operating room includes a ceiling 11 having a plurality of openings 12 therethrough. The openings 12 in the ceiling 11 provide a path for the flow of fresh air in a downward direction throughout the entire operating room. The air which is inserted into the operating room by way of openings 12 is preferably sterile air which is supplied to the surgical area in accordance with the teachings of patent application Serial No. 817,327 filed June 1, 1959 above referred to. As is therein disclosed, a source of sterilized air is provided and is directed into a space between a false ceiling having a plurality of perforations therein and'the actual ceiling of a room or rooms for example in a hospital. The sterilized air is directed downwardly through the plurality of openings in the false ceiling in such a manner as to form a continuously moving mass of air which is preferably maintained at a slightly positive pressure with respect to the corridors or other areas external to the room under consideration. In this manner, the sterile air completely washes the entire operating room in order to remove microorganisms therefrom and to thereby maintain the surgical area in a substantially sterile condition. By maintaining the pressure within the surgical area slightly positive with respect to the out-side area, microorganisms are prevented from entering the surgical area.

Although the air supplied to the operating room of FIG. 1 is preferably sterile, it should be expressly understood that such is not absolutely necessary. It has been found that some rural or suburban areas which are removed from business activity have relatively clean outside air as compared to urban areas. Where such clean outside air is available and does not contain pathogenic microorganisms, it may be used instead of the preferred sterile air.

A surgical lamp 13 in accordance with the present invention, includes a housing 14 which is mounted upon a rotatable standard 15 by means of a bracket 16 which is pivotally attached to the housing 14 by a member 17 and is pivotally attached to the standard 15 by the member 18. The pivotal attachments to the members 17 and 18 permit easy and ready adjustment of the lamp 13 in order to provide illumination to aid the doctors and other attendants who may be present during the performance of an operation. The lamp 13 also includes a covering, such as a lens r19, which permits the passage of light therethrough. The surgical lamp thus far described is the type presently used in many operating rooms.

Interconnected with the housing 14 of the lamp 13 is a conduit means such as a flexible hose 21. The flexible hose 21 is connected to a source of sterilized air (not shown). Sterilized air is conducted from the source thereof through the hose 21 and into the interior of the surgical lamp 13. The sterilized air is then caused to flow by a directing means which will be more fully described below, through a plurality of openings 22 in the lens 19 to thereby provide a column of sterilized air which may be directed by adjustment of the surgical lamp 13 to fall upon the area in which an incision is to be made. The particular adjustment and position of the surgical lamp 13 is, of course, determined by the position of a patient upon the surface of an operating table 23.

In utilizing a surgical lamp in accordance with the present invention, and as illustrated in FIG. 1, a patient is placed upon the operating table 23 and prepared for surgery in the normal manner. Sterilized air is directed through the openings -12 in the false ceiling 11 of the operating room to provide a continuous downward flow of a mass 24 of sterile air throughout the entire operating room. The source of sterile air which is interconnected by way of hose 21 to the interior of the lamp 13 is then actuated and the lamp illuminated. The light from the lamp and the sterile air are then simultaneously directed by means of adjustment of the lamp :13 upon the area in which the incision is to be made during the performance of surgery. The sterile air is forced through the plurality of openings 22 in the lens 19 in such a manner as to form a relatively fast moving column 25 of sterile air. The higher velocity of the column of air 25 as compared to the air flow 24 in the remainder of the room is indicated by the density of the arrows representing each.

By providing the relatively fast moving column of sterile air 25 and causing it to impinge upon the area in which the surgical incision is to be made, microorganisms which may be present throughout the remainder of the operating room and mayin fact be suspended within the slow moving air mass 24 in the remainder of the room are prevented from entering the area of the incision. If microorganisms approach the area of the incision, they are unable to penetrate the colurrm 25 of sterile air which is directed from the surgical lamp 13. Although a por- 4 tion of the air mass 24 surrounding the sterile air column 25 may be picked up by the fringe areas thereof, such secondary air will not be capable of penetrating to the interior portion of the column 25 of sterile air and thereby are unable to reach the area of the incision. Furthermore, by maintaining the air within the remainder of the operating room as sterile as is possible under the circumstances, very little likelihood of picking up secondary air containing disease-carrying microorganisms is presented.

It has been found that an air flow rate of approximately cubic feet per minute from a lamp having a diameter across the lens of 36 inches and adjusted to be no more than 6 feet from the surface of the operating table provides excellent results.

One embodiment of a surgical lamp in accordance with the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 2 to which reference is hereby made. As is therein shown, a surgical lamp 31 is mounted upon a mounting bracket 32 by means of movable mounting arms 33. The lamp includes a source of illumination 34 which is surrounded by a reflecting means 35. The lamp 31 includes a housing 36 which has a skirt 37 about the lower edge thereof. The

skirt 37 may be manufactured integrally with the housing 36 as shown or, alternatively, may be an additional fixture which is attached to the housing 36 by bolts, rivets, welding or in accordance with other well known techniques. A light transparent member or lens 38 is inserted within the interior of the lamp and appropriately supported at the juncture between the housing 36 and the skirt 37. The lens 38 may be made of any light transparent material which is desired. An additional lens 39 is provided at the exterior of the skirt 37. The lenses 38 and 39 along the skirt 37 define a space 41. Openings 42 are provided within the lens 39 for the purposeto be more fully described below.

As was above pointed out, surgical lamps transmit heat as well as light. The transmitted heat causes discomfort to the doctors and other surgical attendants. Such transmitted heat may be eliminated in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

In accordance with this presently preferred embodiment, the member 38 is constructed of a material which transmits substantially all of the light but which either reflects or absorbs substantially all of the heat radiated by light source 34. One example of such a material is a dichroic filter. A dichroic filter consists of a succession of thin layers of two light transparent substances. Each of the two substances has a different index of refraction. By properly selecting the indices of refraction and the thickness of layers, such a filter transmits approximately 95 percent of the incident light but reflects approximately percent of the incident heat radiation. Such a dichroic filter is manufactured by the Fisch-Schurman Corporation, New Rochelle, New York as Type XUR-9 6. As a result of the reflected heat, ventilating ports 40 are provided in the housing 36 of the lamp (FIG. 2).

Alternatively, a heat absorbing substance which transmits light maybe used in place of the dichroic filter. One example of such a structure is a concentrated aqueous solution of alum supported within an appropriate structure such as a pair of thin glass plates.

When utilizing a structure of the type above described, it should be readily apparent that cool air may be forced through the openings 42 to minimize the discomfort of the doctors.

A conduit, such as a flexible hose 43 (FIG. 2), has one end connected to the space 41 by means of a fitting 44 which cooperates with the skirt 37. the flexible hose 43 is attached to a source 45 of sterile air to the art. However, preferably the source 45 should be of the type described in patent application Serial No. 704,485, tiled December 25, 1957 by Gennady Potapenko and entitled Method and Apparatus for the Sterilization The other end of' The source 45 of sterile air may be any source known.

of This device provides for the destruction of airborne organisms contained in a flowing air stream by subjeoting such streams to high intensity ultraviolet radiation at very close range. The irradiation occurs in a chamber or duct which is preferably in the form of a cylinder hav ing an inner surface which is highly reflective for radiation in the germicidal range. Inside of the chamber is a baffle system which produces turbulence and directs the air flow in a cyclonic pattern to insure complete exposure of all airborne particles to the lethal rays which emanate from the ultraviolet generator. This generator or tube extends longitudinally through the core of the chamber. In a typical unit of this type, for example, one such chamber operating at an air flow rate of 100 cubic feet per minute kills in excess of 99.9 percent of all microorganisms present in the air in a single passage. The device described eliminates the disadvantages of previous exposed ultraviolet techniques for the control of airborne microorganisms. The device is based upon the fact that the effectiveness of radiation in free air is inversely proportional to the square of the distance of the microorganisms from the source of germicidal energy and is a direct function of time and exposure. Design of the sterilizing unit referred to insures that no microorganism passing through the chamber is more than approximately three inches from the ultraviolet tube.

An additional source 46 of sterile air, which may be a difiuser connected to an air sterilization system of the type described is application Serial No. 817,327 above referred to, provides a flow of sterile air as illustrated by the arrows 49 in the space provided between the ceiling 47 and the false ceiling 48 of the operating room. The air flow 49 then passes through a plurality of openings provided in the false ceiling 48 and into the operating room as indicated by the arrows 51 in order to provide a continuous downward flow of sterile air throughout the operating room. Sterile air from the source 45 thereof flows through the flexible hose 43 as indicated by arrows 43a and into the space 41 between the lenses 38 and 39. This flow of air is indicated by the arrows 52. The mass of air 52 within the space 41 is then forced through a plurality of openings 42 in the lens 39 to thereby provide a column 53 of sterile air.

By regulating the air flow from the sterile air source 45, the column of air 53 may be caused to move relatively fast as compared to the movement of the sterile air 51 throughout the remainder of the operating room. The surgical lamp 31 may then be adjusted in any manner which is desired in order to focus or direct the column of air 53 along with the light from the illuminating means 34 upon the area in which the incision is to be made during the performance of the operation. As can be seen from FIG. 2, the sterile air which enters the space 41 is maintained separate and apart from the illuminating source 34. The air column 53 is therefore not heated by the illuminating means 34 when a heat reflecting structure of the type [above described is utilized. Air conditioning means may be used in conjunction with the air sterilizing means 45 to thereby provide not only sterile air but conditioned air which may, for example, be cooled. The column of air 53 then tends not only to thoroughly sterilize the area in which the incision is to be made, but also to add to the comfort of the doctor and other attendants who are performing the operation.

It should of course be understood that where a source of cold air is avail-able and the temperature thereof may be adjusted in a predetermined manner, the member 38 may be constructed of ordinary glass. In such a case, the temperature of the air would be set to absorb the transmitted heat and still remain somewhat cool.

Alternatively, the flow of sterile air may be passed directly through a surgical lamp of the type illustrated in FIG. 3. As is therein shown, a hose 56' is interconnected between a source of sterile air 57 and the housing 58 of a lamp 64) in accordance with the present inven- 6. tion. As is illustrated in FIG. 3, the source of sterile air 57 may be a diffuser which is interconnected with the air sterilization system for the entire operating room and in this manner a portion of the air is picked up and supplied by flexible hose 56 to the interior of the lamp 60. The air then passes through the interior of the lamp 60 and through a plurality of openings provided in the lens 61 thereof to thereby provide a column of sterile air as illustrated by the arrows 62. The lamp 60 may be adjusted as heretofore described in order to direct the column 62 of sterile air upon the area in which an incision is to be made.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is illustrated still another embodiment of a surgical lamp in accordance with the present invention. As is therein shown, a lamp 65 includes a housing 66 containing a source of illumination 67. The interior of the housing 66 operates as a refleeting medium for the light from illuminating means 67. As is illustrated in FIG. 4, there is no lens or other covering over the opening of the housing 66. The light therefore impinges directly from the illuminating source and the reflecting surface of the housing 66 upon the area of the patient in which the incision is to be made. An apron 68 is provided about the exterior of the housing 66 and is positioned about the lowermost portion thereof. As can be seen, the apron 68 cooperates with the exterior surfaces of the housing 66 to provide a substantially enclosed area 70 having an opening 71 about the periphery of the lamp 65. The opening 71 may be continuous or may be a plurality of spaced openings in the apron 68. Connected to the apron 68 is a flexible hose 72 which is in turn connected to a source of sterile air 73. In utilizing the surgical lamp as illustrated in FIG. 4, sterile air is caused to flow through the hose 72 as indicated by the arrows 74 and into the space 70 provided by the apron 68. The air then flows from the space 70 7 through the opening 71 about the periphery of the lamp 65. The particular configuration of the apron and the opening 71 permits a column of air 75 to be provided and to be directed downwardly as is indicated by the arrows. The apron 68 therefore effectively focuses the sterile air flow 75 in such a manner as to cause it to impinge upon the desired area of the patient in which the incision is to be made. Apron 68 can be added to the lamp shown in FIG. 2 to provide an additional outlet for sterile air.

Surgical lamps in accordance with the present invention may also be provided as is illustrated in FIG. 5 upon a stand 81. The lamp may be of any particular configuration as above described and is interconnected by way of a flexible hose 82 to a source of sterilized air 83. The lamp 80 which is mounted upon the stand 81 may then be placed at any position within the operating room which is desired. Typically two or more of such lamps may be utilized within a particular operating room in order to eliminate the shadows which might be formed with one light source. In such a case, a plurality of columns of sterile air as illustrated at 84 in FIG. 5 are available to be focused upon the area in which the incision is to be made thereby providingan intense stream of sterile air to effectively isolate the incision area of the patient from the surrounding atmosphere.

There has thus been disclosed a surgical lamp which is capable of directing or focusing a continuous flow of sterile air upon a predetermined area of a patient which lamp does not add additional equipment to operating rooms and may be used to increase the comfort of the personnel present within the operating room.

What is claimed is:

1. A surgical lamp for use in combination with a source of substantially sterile air for simultaneously directing light and sterile air upon a predetermined area, said lamp comprising a housing defining an opening therein adapted to receive conduit means from said source of sterile air for directing sterile air to at least a portion of said housing, illuminating means disposed within said housing, and a light transparent member substantially opaque to heat and disposed over the face of said-housing, said member having a plurality of openings therein for forming a column of sterile air to be directed upon said predetermined area.

2. A surgical lamp for use in combination with a source of substantially sterile air for simultaneously directing light and sterile air upon a predetermined area, said lamp comprising a housing, illuminating means disposed within said housingand air directing means including a dichroic filter and defining at least one opening therein afiixed to the periphery of said housing, said air directing means being adapted to receive a conduit from said source of sterile air to thereby provide a flow of said air into said air directing means, said at least one opening being adapted to direct said sterile air upon said predetermined area.

3. A surgical lamp for use in combination with a source of substantially sterile air for simultaneously directing light and sterile air upon a predetermined area, said lamp comprising a housing defining an opening therein adapted to receive conduit means from said source of sterile air for directing sterile air to at least a portion of said housing, illuminating means disposed within said housing, a first light transparent member disposed beneath said illuminating means and within said housing, said first member being substantially non-transmitting to heat radiation, and a second light transparent member disposed Within said housing and spaced from and beneat'h said first member to thereby form a space for receiving said sterile air, said second member defining a plurality of openings therein for forming a column of sterile air to be directed upon said predetermined area.

said lamp comprising a housing, illuminating means dis-' posed Within said housing, said housing having a skirt member affixed to and extending from the periphery thereof, a first light transparent member disposed within said skirt member, and a second light transparent member disposed within said skirt member and spaced from said first member to define a space, said skirt defining an opening and adapted to receive conduit means from said source of sterile air to thereby direct said sterile air into said space, said second member defining a pluralityv of openings therein to form a column of sterile air to be directed upon said predetermined area.

7. A surgical lamp in accordance with claim 6 in which said first and second members are glass and said air is cooled to thereby absorb heat radiated by said source of illumination.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,823,535 2,215,634 Collins et al Sept. 24, 1940 2,681,061 Modell June 15, 1954' 2,845,855

Frutkow et al. Sept. 15; 1931- Burns Aug. 5, 19S8-

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Classifications
U.S. Classification362/96, 362/149, 607/83, 454/187, 422/24, 362/294, 96/224, 362/293
International ClassificationA61G13/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61G13/108
European ClassificationA61G13/10V