US 3154789 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 3, 1964 E. LEWIS, JR
DISPQSA BLE EXAMINATION GARMENT Filed March 25, 1963 INVENTOR EDWARD LEWIS, JR.
ATTORNEY J United States Patent 3,154,789 Dl'SPOSABLE EXAMENATEGN GARE ENE Edward Lewm, .lr., 58% Beech Ave., Bethesda 14, Md. Filed Mar. 25, 1963, Ser. No. 267,473 4 Claims. (Cl. 2-164) This invention relates in general to an examination garment and in particular to a disposable type examination garment for use in draping the upper portion of the human torso for medical examination.
In the present art, many types of garments are provided for use in physical and medical examination of individuals. Ideally, this type of garment should give a maximum amount of coverage and yet provide sufiicient access by an examining physician for allowing examination of the portions of the body covered without interference with the examination procedure. In recent years, it has been common to provide disposable, single use examination garments made of paper and other inexpensive sheet material. Primary advantages of such disposable garments are the elimination of the use of laundries, autoclaves and other sanitation requirements generally encountered in any type of garment or the like used by more than one person.
Examination garments, especially the single use, disposable type, are in general use in instances where a routine, clinical type physical examination is to be performed. These examinations are usually given as part of a pro-employment procedure by larger companies or physical examination for the purposes of ascertaining insurability of a perspective insuree and the like. Garmerits of this type are also used in group chest X-ray situations and other occasions where it is necessary to disrobe a group of people for similar purposes. The use of examination garments in these situations is also generaliy limited to the examination of females since the aesthetic problems of exposure, modesty and embarrassment are not usually encountered in groups of males.
Some of the disadvantages found within the present art type of disposable examination garments stem from the fact that adequate coverage, especially in the breast area, is not achieved and, as a result, the examinee is usually subject to embarrassment which is not only an aesthetic problem, but interferes with the orderly course of the physical examination. This problem is encountered in that the present-day examination garment or drape, as it is known, has a poncho-style configuration and is formed, in general, from a rectangular sheet of paper having a hole near the center thereof, the head of the patient being placed through the hole and the ends of the garment draping down the front and the back of the patient to cover those portions. This coverage, although adequate from the standpoint of direct frontal viewing, does not provide side coverage since there are no sides in the garment. This results in constant exposure of the sides or the axillary portion of the breast, and, especially when the arms are raised or lowered during the process of the examination, complete exposure of the breast. It has been found that patients tend to clutch the sides of these garments thereby interfering with the examination by the doctor and the probability of exposure tends to excite the patient thereby causing embarrassment, abnormal pulse rates, blood pressure, breathing and the like.
It has been found, in addition, that examinees are not discomforted to any degree by partial exposure of the body in a piecemeal fashion. For example, if one breast is uncovered for examination and recovered prior to examination of the other breast, the embarrassment is minimized. The present garments, while providing access, are generally formed so that the entire breast area is exposed when the frontal portion of the garment is lifted for examination.
Although the above-mentioned garment does provide adequate access by the doctor for the purposes of the examination, with the above-noted limitation, the coverage of the back of the upper torso afforded by these garments does tend to interfere with examination of this portion of the body. it is generally required that, during the examination, the physician must lift this portion of the garment and require the patient to hold it in lifted configuration in order that he may utilize both hands to accomplish examination of the thorax, vertebra and lungs. t is generally recognized that the coverage of this portion of the torso is not a problem from a modesty standpoint and lack of coverage in this area does not embarrass a patient.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a new and improved disposable examination garment which, while providing adequate access for an examination physician, affords maximum coverage of the more sensitive areas of the female torso.
i is a further object of this invention to provide a simple and inexpensive examination garment which utilines a minimum of material and provides a maximum of aesthetic quality.
it is another object of this invention to provide a disposable examination garment which, while providing a maximum of coverage, is suitable for use for radiological as well as physical examinations.
It is still another object of this invention to provide an examination garment which provides access to the portion of the torso being examined Without exposing other portions thereof.
This invention provides, in general, a ancho-style disposabl garment which is equipped with means to fasten the sides of the front portion of the garment to the sides of rear portion in a manner to provide adequate coverage of the side portions of the female breast while the front portion of the garment is formed to drape over the breast area in such a way as to provide adequate coverage yet may oe displaced to allow examination of either breast with a minimum of effort on the part of the physician and without exposure of the other breast. The garment also is formed at the back portion to provide sudicient structure to suspend the front portion thereof and to furnish connection points for fastening the front side to the back side, yet is of sufficient brevity to allow examination of the back of the torso without interfering with the access thereto. These features are realized in this invention by provision of connectors at either side of the front and back portions on the garment adjacent the axillary region when the garment is in place on the patient, and a vertical, centrally located slit from the bottom of the front portion to a point substantially breastlevel on the patient. The back portion of the garment is abbreviated and is so formed as to provide mounting points on either side thereof for connectors to coincide and mate with the forward portion connectors. The side fasteners thereby provide adequate coverage of the sides of the torso and the axillary portion of the breasts while the slit in the forward portion allows displacement of either side of the forward portion to provide access to a particular breast and breast area by the examining physician.
In the following detailed description, the embodiment is presented merely as exemplary of a structure incorporating the teachings of this invention and the presentation is offered to instruct those skilled in the art in the manner of making a garment embodying the invention. These features as well as other objects will become more apparent by reference to the detailed description when viewed in light of the accompanying drawings in which like figures indicate like parts thereof and wherein:
' FIG. 1 is a plan view of an examination garment embodying the features of tms invention;
FIG. 2 is a front view or" the garment of FIG. 1 disposed on an examinee in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 3 is a back view of the garment of PEG. 2;
. FIG. 4 shows a variation of the garment of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 shows another variation of the garment of FIG. 1.
Referring now to FIG. 1 of the drawings, the garment shown generally at 2, comprises generally rectangular sheet of material 4 and an aperture 6. The aperture is of sufficient size to afford passage of the head therethrough and may be provided with enlarging nicks 8 around the edges thereof to provide extra large opening capability where necessary Without weakening the strength of the garment. Aperture 6 is also preferably disposed more proximate one end of the sheet material than the other as shown to form a front area 2% and a back area 22 to the garment.
The sheet of material is provided with slots 1% and 12, the slots being centrally disposed with respect to the longer sides of the garment. The garment is provided with reduced areas 14 along the longer sides thereof adjaccnt to aperture 6. Mating snaps 16a and 16b and 18a and 18b are provided along the longer sides of the garment adjacent to reduced areas 14. As shown in the drawing, front portion 12b is wider than rear portion 22. This feature provides benefits to be described below.
Referring now to PEG. 2, garment 2 is shown disposed on examinee l9 and is folded about a line perpendicular to the longer sides thereof, substantially through the center of aperture 6, forming with front portion 2% over the ,front ofthe torso of examines 19. Front portion 20 is of suitable length to substantially reach waist area 24 of examines 19. Slot 19 is of suitable length to provide access to breast area 25 of the examinee. Snap fasteners a, 16b, 18a and 1319 are so disposed asto be adjacent. to their respective mating portions when the gar- 1Dt is suitably disposed on the examinee.
Referring to FIG. 3, rear portion 22 is of suitable length to provide suspension points for snap connectors 16b and 18b to dispose them adjacent to snaps Ida and 18a for connection therebetween, yet is of suitable brevity to provide exposure to the major portion of the back area of the examinee 19. 7
Slot 12 is of a length suitable to provide access to any portion of the covered area of the back as may be required by the examining physician.
The examination garment may be fabricated of any material suitable for the purpose, however, it is preferred in this embodiment, that the garment be made of a soft, inexpensive paper such, for example, as what is known in the trade as pebblecord or crepe paper of suitable ply to provide an opaque covering for the patient. This type of paper is generally characterized by a soft, pliable, texture and is in common use in the industry in other types. of examination garments. Other sheet materials may be used including Woven or non-woven fabrics of various natural or synthetic fibers.
Snap fasteners 16a, 16b, 18a, and 1% may be of any type known in the art, but are preferably fabricated from X-ray transparent material, preferably a plastic, in the event that the garment is used during X-ray or fluoroscope examination of the examinee. Other types of fasteners may, obviously, also be used in place of the snap fasteners such, for example, as paper or other type ties 28 (FIG. 4) or pressure-sensitive adhesive 3% (FIG. 5).
In use, the garment is donned by placing the head of the examinee through aperture 6 with front portion 29 disposed proximate the front portion of the examinees torso. The garment is then allowed to drape and the connecting means are suitably connected to provide coverage of the axilla of the body. In the case of the em- (i. bodiment of FIG. 1, the snap fasteners would be connected, by suitable presure, to compress them together in the normal fashion while in the embodiment of FIG. 4, ties 23 would be tied together in any manner to insure their connection. In the embodiment of FIG. 5, pressuresensitive adhesive 3th is provided with a strippable protective cover which is removed at the time of use and pressure is applied to cause adhesion between the front portion and the back portion opposite the axilla. Alternatively, adhesives may be provided which have a characteristic of adhering only to the similar adhesives. This latter type may be used without protective covering and connection may be accomplished by pressing'the two adhesive areas together.
The dilferent widths of front portion 20 and back portion 22 provide a fastener connecting point toward the rear of the torso thereby providing complete coverage for the axilla. 05 course, the portions could be made equal in Width, it so desired, and adequate coverage could still be afforded.
Referring again to the embodiment of FIG. 1, the snaps may be oriented in any suitable manner. However,
it is preferred that the mating surfaces of the snaps be disposed in the same direction with respect to the plane oi the garment in the configuration of FIG. 1 so that the mating surfaces are proximate one another. when the garment is in the configuration of FIGS. 2 and 3. In this manner, connection between the fasteners may be accomplished by simple pressure between elements such,
for example, as the thumb and forefinger of the hand.
During the course of the examination, it is necessary for the examining physician to raise the examinees arms for the taking of blood pressure, testing of reflexes, and
the like. During this portion of the examination, the garment covers the sensitive areas of the upper torso such as the axillary portions of the breast and the breasts themselves. During subsequent portions of the examination, it
is necessary for the physician to gain access to the upper chest area of the examinee to examine the heart, lungs, and breasts. Generally, during this portion of the examination, the physician only requires access to one side of the chest portion at a time. Slot 10 is provided for this purpose and allows the examining physician to lift one side of front'portion 2% at a time as shown in FIG. 2 to accomplish the required steps of the examination. With the garment disposed as shown in FIG. 2, the physician has access to the right breast and right lung portion of the examinee While the left side of the torso remains covered. As the examination proceeds, the physician then accomplishes an examination of the lungs and the back of the patient and, as shown in FIG. 3, adequate access is provided to this area since the abbreviated back portion of the garment provides exposure of the major portion of the back and, through slot 12, access is readily had to the unexposed portions of the torso.
While this invention has been described as an examination garment for use in physical examinations of the female, the garment can also, obviously, be used as a covering garment for radiological examinations which do not require the access afforded by the features of this garment. In this case, the garment still provides adequate coverage for the female torso and still affords the benefits of coverage of the axillary portion of the breasts which have heretofore not been afiorded in garments of this type.
The above detailed description of the invention is. offered merely as exemplary of a garment embodying the features of the invention to inform one skilled in the art of a method of making such an invention. It should therefore be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent of the United States is:
' 1. A disposable examination garment especially adapted for covering the upper torso of a female examinee comprising an essentially rectangular sheet having side edges and front and rear end edges thereto said sheet further having a head receiving aperture intermediate the ends thereof, said sheet being folded along a line perpendicular to the longitudinal centerline thereof in coincidence with said aperture to form front and back covering portions thereto, said front portion having a preformed slit disposed along the longitudinal centerline thereof and extending from said front edge upwardly and terminating at a point spaced substantially below the front edge of said aperture to divide the lower part of said front portion into two independently movable panels, and fastening means integral with said garment positioned adjacent said side edges thereof and connecting the side edges of the front portion to corresponding side edges of the back portion to close the side edges of said garment, said garment when donned by a female examinee being disposed so that the upper end of said elongated opening terminates proximate the examinees breast area and said fastening means are disposed adjacent the axillary portion of the breast.
2. A garment in accordance with claim 1 wherein said back portion is provided with a preformed slit disposed along the longitudinal centerline thereof extending from the rear edge thereof upwardly and terminating at a point spaced substantially below the rear edge of said aperture to divide the lower part of said back portion into two independently movable panels.
3. A garment in accordance with claim 1 wherein the side edges of said front and back portions are parallel, the side edges of said back covering portion being spaced inwardly from the side edges of said front covering portion thereby providing a fastening point rearwardly disposed from the vertical centerline of the body of an examinee to provide adequate coverage of the sides of the breasts thereof.
4. A garment in accordance with claim 1 wherein said back portion is of shorter length than said front portion.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,417,88 8 3 47 Schuster 249X 2,431,052 1 1/ 47 La Grier 249 2,528,630 11/50 Winkler 249X 2,692,989 11/54 Jelstrup 21 14 2,818,573 1/ 58 ODonnell 21 14 2,902,734 9/ 59 Walters 249X 3,047,875 8/ 62 Patterson 21 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,089,435 9/54 France.
710,953 6/54 Great Britain.
JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.
DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Examiner.