US 3110912 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 19, 1963 PRQPST 3,110,912
LITTER Filed June 9, 1961 V EN TOR.
IN 56. 3 @25527'1. PFUPJT ig/m A rra/Pz/a a' United States Patent 3,119,912 LITTER Robert L. Propst, Ann Arbor, Mich, assignor to Herman Miller, Tue, Zeeland, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Filed June 9, 1961, Ser. No. 116,158
6 Claims. (Cl. -82) This invention relates to litters. More particularly, this invention relates to a unique assembly facilitating complete handling and moving of injured people and hospital patients.
Existing litters exhibit a number of serious limitations of considerable concern to hospitals and those handling injured or sick patients. First of all, there is no structure presently in existence for immobilizing a person on a litter surface, except straps which are both cumbersome and extremely uncomfortable. Further, the body rests on a flat surface with a thin pad covering. Any movement by the patient, or any time the litter structure is moved, the body tends to roll around on top of this surface. This is dangerous since even the slightest body movement can cause serious deterioration to patients having broken bones or other serious injuries. Further, there is an inherent danger of the patient rolling olf on the floor.
Secondly, hospitals encounter the problem of transferring the patient from surface to surface many times as he is moved through hospital processes. Starting from the time a patient is picked up by an ambulance, going through all possible treatment variations before reaching a hospital bed, the patient is transferred eight or nine times from one surface to another. Not only is this distressing and dangerous to the health of the patient, it also requires difficult physical effort on the part of the hospital staff.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a litter structure which provides a carrying surface on which the patient may be moved through various hospital processes, such as X-rays, surgery, testing, etc., without being removed from the surface.
Another object of this-invention is the provision of such a litter structure which includes a carrying surface which immobilizes the patient thereon in a safe, comfortable manner.
Another object of this invention is the provision of such a litter structure a part of which may be utilized as a stretcher for picking up the patient and moving him to the litter.
A still further object of this invention is the provision of such a litter which includes a carrying surface that may be finely adjusted to the patients body configuration.
Yet another object of this invention is the provision of such a litter which is simple in structure, yet positive in functioning and operation.
These and other objects of this invention will become obvious to those skilled in the patient handling art, upon reading the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective plan view of the litter comprising this invention, showing a patient positioned thereon;
FIG. 2 is a plan, perspective view of the litter shown in FIG. 1, the stretcher unit being separated therefrom;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, perspective view of a corner of the litter shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an end view of the litter as embodied in FIG. 3, shown positioned for receiving the stretcher unit; and
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, the stretcher unit being locked in position.
3 ,1 W3 l2 Patented Nov. 19, 1%?13 Briefly, this invention relates to a litter including a pair of elongated supporting poles and a flexible supporting sheet secured between these supporting poles. A frame member is provided, including elements movably secured thereto for receiving the supporting poles. Means are associated with the frame member for moving these elements from a first position receiving the supporting poles to a second position tensioning the supporting sheet and releasably locking the supporting poles in this second position.
Referring more specifically to the drawings, the reference numeral 1 designates the litter of this invention (FIG. 1). As shown in FIG. 2, the litter 1 includes a separate stretcher unit 2 which may be detachably mounted on the frame 10'.
The stretcher unit 2 includes a pair of elongated supporting poles 3, each pole having handle grips 4 at both of its ends. A net 5 is detachably secured between the poles 3, this net material being preferably of a warp knit nylon or Dacron fabric. Although the invention is not so specifically limited, it has been found that such a net has unique capabilities in being formable into compound load bearing shapes. This aids in immobilizing a patient in a comfortable manner and prevents deterioration of body areas having damaged tissue or broken bones. This net is strong and X-rays may pass therethrough. Further, such a material withstands washing and sterilization and does not tend to hold moisture. The net 5 is folded along each of its side edges (FIGS. 3 and 4) and secured uponitself, forming a continuous receptacle 6 along each of its side edges. It will be noted that a supporting pole 3 may be inserted into each of the receptacles 6, the supporting poles being quickly and simply removable therefrom. Small hooks 7 are provided generally adjacent the handle grips 4 on each of the supporting poles 3 for properly positioning the net 5 with respect to the poles when the net is secured therebetween.
The frame 1%) includes a pair of supporting legs 1d and 11a at its top and bottom ends respectively, each pair of legs 11 and 11a joined by crossbars 12 and 12a respectively. Crossbars 13 are secured to the tops of legs 11, completing the formation of the frame it). The crossbars 13 extend beyond the crossbars 12 and 12a, forming an extension at each corner of the frame it the extensions at the top and bottom of the frame designated by the reference numerals 14 and 14a respectively. 'I wo curved spring units 15 and 16 project perpendicularly from the crossbars 13 near the top of the frame 19. These spring units extend inwardly a distance sufficient to create a carrying cavity formed for the head and neck of the patient, to be more fully explained hereinafter. These spring units act as leaf springs and are preferably fabricated of fiberglass-resin materials which make them transparent to X-rays for all practical purposes. Additional curved spring units 17 and 18 project from the crossbars 13 generally parallel thereto, for forming arm cradles for the patient to be placed on the litter. Projecting parallel to the crossbars .13 and secured to the bottom crossbar 12a, is the curved spring unit 19 for forming a leg cradle for the patient.
An element 20 is secured to each extension 14 and 14a at the corners of the frame 1% (FIG. 3). In the embodiment shown, each element 2% is pivotally secured between its ends to its respective extension 14 or 14a. Thus, each element 2% is free to pivot about its respective However, it is to be specifically underetood thatthe element 2% could be rigidly mounted on an ex- .a leg cradle.
tension, Crossbars 13 themselves being rotatable with respect to the frame 143'. In either case, the elements would be pivotal with respect to the frame member 1 In the event the crossbars 13 were rotatable, it should be noted that the spring units l5, 16, 1'7 and would also be movable upon the pivoting of the elements One end 21 of each element 2i? is of generally Y-shaped configuration, the end 21 being adapted to receive a supporting pole 3 adjacent the handle grip d. The other end 22 of the elements 26' at both the top and bottom of the'litter are operably secured to a means 25 [for pivoting the elements 2i this pivotal movement tensioning the net 5 and locking the supporting poles 3 1n position.
Each pivoting means 25 includes a pair of guides 26 secured to the respective crossbar 12 or 12a. Counter threaded crossbars 2'7 and 28 are secured to the ends 212 of a pair of associated elements These counter threaded rods 27 and 28 extend through the'guides 26 and into the threaded interior of the hollow pipe 29. It will now be seen that rotation of the pipe 29 in one direction draws the rods 27 and 23 toward each other, and rotation of the pipe 29 in the opposite direction forces the rods 27 and 23 apart. This in turn pivots the elements 2% at the corners of the frame llll, one such means 25 being provided at each end of the litter.
Assembly and Operation Assuming that a person has been critically injured in an accident, the litter 1 is used as follows. The supporting poles 3 are removed from thereceptacle 6 along the side edgesof the net 5. The net 5 may be carefully worked under the body, without great movement thereof. A supporting pole 3 is then inserted through the recep tacle 6 at each side of the net 5, the hooks 7 properly positioning the net with respect to the supporting poles The handle grips i are then utilized by two operators to move the stretcher unit 2 and the body to the frame l. The element 2d at each corner of the frame Ill is positioned as shown in FIG. 4, this positioning being accomplished by rotation of the pipe 29 of the means 25 at both the top and bottom of the frame. Each end of each supporting pole is positioned to rest within the \shaped ends 21 of the elements 20 at the corners of the frame. Next, the pipe 29 at each end of the frame is rotated, drawing the rods 27 and 28 toward each other. This in turn pivots the elements to the position shown in FIG. 5. With this simple step, the net is properly tensioned for best support of the particular patient and the stretcher unit 2 is locked to the frame Ill Thus, upon gripping the handles 4, the two opera tors can move the litter, giving minimal motion to the body on the net 5, the legs 111 supporting the litter 12 when it is placed in the ambulance.
Upon arriving at the hospital, the patient need not be removed from the litter during initial examination and X-ray procedures. If desirable, the stretcher unit 2 may be removed from the frame 1% by merely rotating the pipe 29 at the top and bottom of the frame It Due to the properties of the net 5, it is possible that an operation could be conducted by placing the stretcher unit 2 on the operating table and removing the supporting poles 3. It is even conceivable that an operation could be performed on the litter itself. It will now be seen that once the net 5 is placed under the patients body, no transferr-al of the patients body need occur when he is taken through hospital processes before reaching his hospital bed;
Due to the unique capabilities of a net material utilized as a supporting surface, the supporting surface conforms to the configuration of the patients body, providing both comfort and immobility. Further, the spring units 15 and 16 provide a head cradle; the spring units 17 and 18 provide arm cradles; and the spring unit 19 provides g ese cradles aid in comfort and v 4 safety for the patient, together with assuring that the body is immovable on the supporting surface.
The unique structure of the litter makes it readily adaptable to any patient handling situation. Cover nets 3i and 31 may be secured by suitable means, such as a Velcro attachment, these cover nets fill and 31 aiding in holding the patient in position and also allowing the stretcher unit 2 to be turned over completely for depositing the patient face down. Further, a wheeled cart (not shown) may be readily adapted for use in association with the litter lit for facilitating movement of the litter about the hospital itself.
While only certain embodiments of this invention have been shown and described, it may be possible to practice the invention through the utilization of certain other embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. Such other embodiments are included as part of this invention unless the following claims specifically state otherwise.
1. A litter, comprising: a pair of elongated supporting poles; a flexible supporting sheet secured between said supporting poles; a frame member; elements movably secured to said frame member for receiving said supporting poles; means for moving said elements from a first position receiving said supporting poles to a second position tensionin-g said supporting sheet and releasably locking said supporting poles in said second position; and spring means secured to said frame for biasing said supporting sheet upwardly in selected areas to form leg, arm and head cradles for a body lying on said supporting sheet.
2. A litter, comprising: a pair of elongated supporting poles; a net for supporting a person, said net having means along each of its side edges for slidably receiving one of said supporting poles therein; a frame member including supporting legs and a pair of extensions at each end thereof; elements secured to said extensions and pivotal with respect to said frame member, said elements receiving said supporting poles; and means for pivoting said elemerits from a first position receiving said supporting poles to a second position tensioning said net and releasably locking said supporting poles in said second position.
3. A litter, comprising: a pair of elongated supporting poles; a net for supporting a person, said net having means along each of its side edges for slidably receiving one of said supporting poles therein; a frame member including supporting legs and a pair of extensions at each end thereof; elements secured to said extensions and pivotal with respect to said frame member, said elements receiving said supporting poles; means for pivoting said elements from a first position receiving said supporting poles to a second position tensioning said not and releasably locking said supporting poles in said second position; and spring means secured to said frame for biasing said net upwardly in selected areas to form leg, armand head cradles for a body lying on said supporting sheet.
4. A litter, comprising: a pair of elongated supporting poles; a net for supporting a person, said net having means along each of its side edges for slidably receiving one of said supporting poles therein; a frame member including supporting legs and a pair of extensions at each end thereof; an element secured between its ends to each of said extensions, one end of each of said elements being of a V-shaped configuration for receiving an end of one of said supporting poles; said elements pivotm with respect to said frame member; meansassociatedwith the other ends of said elements for pivoting said elements from a first position receiving said supporting polesto a second position tensioning said net and releasably locking said supporting poles in said second position; and spring means secured to said frame for biasing said net upwardly in selected areas to form leg, arm andhead cradles for a body lying on said supporting sheet.
5. A litter as defined in claim 4, said means for pivoting said elements comprising threaded bars secured to said References Cited in the file of this patent other ends of said elements and an internally threaded pipe joined to a pair of said bars at each end of the litter, UNITED STATES PATENTS whereby rotation of said pipes pivots said elements about 1,482,487 Sheets Feb. 5, 1924 said extensions. 5 1,699,026 Schumacher et a1 Ian. 15, 1929 6. A litter as defined in claim 4, said spring means 2,033,779 Monk Mar. 10, 1936 associated with said frame member such that pivoting of 2,247,360 Clayton July 1, 1941 said elements simultaneously adjusts said bias of said 2,391,928 Seib Ian. 1, 1946 spring means forming said head and arm cradles. 2,466,289 Weich Apr. 5, 1949