US 3160143 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 8, GRAY QUICK RELEASE ADJUSTABLE X-RAY PATIENT SUPPQRT BEL-"T Filed April 15, v1965 FIG. 3 FIG. 4
INVENTOR. FLOYD L. GRAY BY MM. W
ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,16ti,i43 QUICK RELEASE ADJUSTABLE X-RAY PATENT SUPPURT BELT Floyd L. Gray, Milwaukee, Wis, assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Apr. 15, 1963, Ser'. No. 273,091 1 Claim. Cl. 1i996) This invention pertains to a safety harness for preventing a patient from falling during conduct of an X-ray examination.
With the most advanced X-ray equipment, diagnostic procedures are carried out with the patient on an X-ray table and the examining radiologist situated at a control station remote from the patient. In some diagnostic technics, the X-ray table is angulated to a vertical position and the patient stands with the X-ray table top to his back. The patients weight is borne by a platform that may be rotated under remote control in order to present different aspects of the patient to the X-ray beamJ There is usually included in this arrangement an X ray image intensifier that is located behind the table top within the body of the table. The intensifier converts the X-ray image of the patients anatomy to a light image which appears on a phosphor that may be viewed with a television camera. The output of the television camera is displayed on a monitor located near the control station of the remotely situated radiologist.
Although the above'outlined apparatus permits complete remote fluoroscopic examinations and removes the examining radiologists from the danger zone of scattered X-radiation, it has the disadvantage that the radiologist is not near the patient as he was when he used the conventional fluoroscopic screen. Hence, there is a danger that if the patient faints, he will fall freely to the floor without opportunity for the radiologist to intercept him as was formerly the case.
It is a primary object of the present invention to remove this danger by the pro-vision of a safety harness that secures the patient against falling but which does not interfere with any of the patient movements that the radiologist desires.
Further specific objects are to provide a patient safety harness that offers positive support for the patient without undue discomfort or injury; that is easily fastened and adjusted to patients of various physiques; that is X-ray transparent; that is easily laundered and sterilized; and, that is easily removed from the X-ray table for storage.
Achievement of these and other objects will appear from time to time throughout the course of the ensuing specification.
The new safety device is generally characterized by a fabric band that is of sufficient length for its ends to overlap several inches when it is wrapped around the chest of a patient beneath his armpits. The surface of one overlapping end area is covered with a pile that consists of thousands of fine filaments forming loops. The pile is preferably of nylon. The other end area is covered with a myriad of juxtaposed hooks which are, in essence, small stiff nylon loops that are split on one side. When the hooked area is pressed lightly against the pile, the hooks effect a multitude of engagements and secure the ends of the band together.
Tension placed on the band must be very great to cause disengagement of the hooks and pile, but the ends may be peeled apart with little effort.
For restraining a patient who has an inclination to fall, there is attached to the band a strap that may be anchored, with some slack in it, to a suitable fixed member. The strap merely twists when the patient is turned around and offers no impediment to patient movements that are directed by the examining radiologist.
Bfiifiddi hatented Dec. 8, l9fi4 "ice A detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention will now be given in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a patient undergoing X-ray examination with the assistance of the new patient safety harness;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the safety harness removed from the patient in order to show its structural details;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross section of the harness band taken on a line corresponding with 33 in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the section shown in FIG. 3 as it appears when viewed from the right side of the latter figure.
FIG. 1 exemplifies a use of the invention. The X-ray patient iii is in an upright position on a footrest assembly 11 that is provided with a turntable 12 on which the patient is standing. When the X-ray table is provided with a turntable such as 12, the patient may be rotated axially under the influence of a motor drive controlled by the remotely positioned radiologist. In the absence of a driven turntable, the patient may be asked to maneuver his feet in order to present a different aspect of his anatomy to the beam from an X-ray source 13.
It is seen that the patient is somewhat stabilized by virtue of his back bearing on the vertically disposed top 14 of the X-ray table. For the sake of clarity, there has been omitted from the drawing the conventional means for adjusting footrest 11 longitudinally of the table top 14 and the body of the X-ray table that supports top 14. Also omitted is the X-ray image intensifier or other fluoroscopic device which may be located behind top 1 within the body of the table and subject to remote controlled longitudinal movement jointly with the X-ray source 13.
In FIG. 1 it is seen that the patient safety harness comprises a band, generally designated by the reference numeral 15, that encompasses the patients chest with its ends overlapping and secured to each other. The patient is loosely fastened to the table top 14 with a strap assembly 16 that is attached to the band and terminates in a hook 17 which engages the table top. The patient can tilt away from vertical only through a limited angle but he can be turned through at least about the vertical axis by virtue of the upper end 29 of flexible belt 16 twisting freely.
Construction of the new safety harness is best seen in 16. 2. It comprises a fabric band 18 which is preferably a tough material such as that sold under the trademark Orlon. Band 18 is preferably continuous from the left edge 19 to the right edge 20. The upper edge 21 and the lower edge 22 and end edges 19 and 20 are preferably bound with cotton edging.
In a practical embodiment, the length of the band taken along edge 21 is about forty nine inches and the lower edge 22 is about forty seven inches. Both top edge 21 and bottom edge 22 constitute the arc of a circle, and because of their differing lengths, it will be evident that when the edges 19 and 20 are brought around to overlap each other and encompass the patients chest, a funnel shape is formed that follows the contour of the patients body. In one model, band 18 is cut as an arc of a circle whose upper edge 21 has a radius of 156 inches. The width of the band taken along edges 19 or 20 is about 11 inches. The proportions of the band are such as to accommodate patients with chest measurements of twenty eight to forty four inches while still allowing the necessary three-inch overlap of the ends for support of patients who weight as much as 250 pounds.
Sewn directly on the foreface of band 18 are two strap sections 23 and 24. The sewing of section 23 is exemplified by seams shown as dashed lines 25. For the purpose of reinforcement, there is also provided a fabric tab such as the four-inch parallelogram 26.
The upper ends of strap sections 23 and 24 are brought through a slit in a buckle 27 and folded back on themselves as indicated at 28 and sewn. Thus, a fixed distance is established between buckle 27 and the top edge 21 of band 18. Most diagnostic tecbnics carried out while the patient is standing involve the lower portions of the body so that metal buckle 27 is not ordinarily portrayed in the X-ray picture.
Engaged with buckle 27 is another strap loop section 29 that is friction gripped by buckle 27 in a well known manner. Strap 29 loops around a fixed pin 30 in a hook 17. As can be seen in FIG. 1, hook 17 may engage the top edge of the table top 14 in order to anchor the patient. It should be understood that anchoring the patient by means of hook 17 is only illustrative. For instance, a bar, not shown, that runs laterally across table top 14 and is adjustable with respect to the length thereof, may be passed through the loopformed in the region of pin 30 to provide an anchor point for the strap assembly 16. In the alternative, hook 17 may be directly engaged with a cross bar, not shown.
Strap assembly 16 may be made of white web known as type No. 2. Buckle 27 is preferably a chromium plated type designated Harley No. 8200, obtainable from Associated Technical Sales Co., Dayton, Ohio, and others.
An important characteristic of the new safety harness is the ease with which it may be adjusted, attached and detached from the patients body. These qualities are achieved by the use of a hook and pile material such as that known by the trademark Velcro, obtainable from the Hartwell Corporation, Los Angeles, California.
Velcro fasteners consist of two pieces of nylon fabric.
One is called pile 40, which contains thousands of raised loops of fine nylon thread. The other is called hooks 41 which consist of many closely spaced hooks of stiff nylon thread as seen in FIG. 3. When pressed together, the hooks engage the pile loops and resist lateral shear forces up to nine pounds per square inch. The force required to peel one strip from the other is much less than this, allowing detachment and adjustments to be made easily. In this instance, white, No. 80 Velcro hooks are used.
In FIG. 2, the back side of the right end area is covered with the hooks 41. The hooks. are on a nylon fabric obtainable in strips 42 about two inches wide, and in this case, five strips about eleven inches long are sewn in parallel on the Orion band 18. The pile 40 is likewise obtainable on fabric in two-inch strips 43 that are sewn on the front side of the left end of band 18. The lower end of strap 24 is between band 18 and pile strips 43. It will be evident that if the right end of the band is brought around to overlap its left end, the hooks 41 will be presented face-to-face with the pile 40. A slight compressive force applied to these mating areas causes engagement of the hooks with the pile. The strength of the engagement is such that the expansive force of the patients chest or the tensile force placed on band 18 by a patient who is tilting from vertical position, is inadequate to separate the hooks from the pile. On the other hand, when it is desired to remove the band from the patient, the hooks can be peeled from the pile with a very minor force. Thus, it will be seen that the safety band has all the attributes of a pressure sensitive adhesive; that is, its ends may be joined and detached with a small normal force but without significant loss of strength despite many operations. Little holding power is lost when the hooks and pile are engaged and detached more than 100,000 times. This is far in excess of expected normal usage and can be accounted for by allowing a margin of safety in the overlap of the hook and pile areas.
In addition to its convenient adjustability and strength, the new safety harness has the advantage of good X-ray transmissibility. Radiographs show that the X-ray filtration equivalent of the band, the hooks and the pile is less than one-half millimeter of aluminum. Hence, it does 4 not cast a perceptible shadow in either radiographic or fluoroscopic technics.
Use of the new X-ray patient safety harness is simple. It merely involves wrapping band 18 around the patients chest, usually just .below the armpits, and pulling the band snug. The overlaying hook and pile areas are then pressed against each other to effect engagement. Strap 29 s adjusted in buckle 27 so that some slack remains in the strap when it is attached 'to an anchor point with hook 17. When the patient turns axially by maneuvering his feet, or through the agency of turntable 12, strap section 29 twists without shortening, as a result of the slack in it. If the patient tends to fall or collapse, the strap is placed in tension when the patient reaches a small departure from an upright position. In any case, the safety harness can be quickly removed by the small effort required to peel the pile and hook areas apart. When dimensioned as indicated above, the safety band will accommodate patients whose chests are twenty-eight to forty-four inches with a minimum overlap of three inches.
Although there has been describedin detail a preferred embodiment of an X-ray patient safety harness that is attachable by simple application of hand pressure, such description is to be considered illustrative rather than limiting, for the invention may be variously embodied as will now appear to those versed in the art. Therefore, the scope of the invention is to be determined only by interpretation of the claim which follows.
It is claimed:
A new article of manufacture for supporting a patient against falling from an essentially upright position out of the path of an X-ray beam in the course of an X-ray diagnostic procedure, comprising:
(a) a single pliable band that is adapted to wrap around a patients chest with the end areas of the band overlapping to a variable extent depending on the circumference of the patient,
( b) said band having an upper edge of a certain length and a lower edge of a lesser length, whereby the band may be formed in a funnel-shape for adaptation to the upward divergence of the patients body when the opposite ends of the band are caused to overlap each other,
(0) the said band being of sufiicient width to extend downwardly from the armpits of a patient uninterruptedly overCa region of varying body contour,
(d) one of the end areas of said band in the region of overlap having a multiplicity of non-metallic hooks projecting therefrom,
(e) the other end areas in the region of overlap having a surface of pile material that is presented face-toface to and is engageable by the hooked area when the overlapped ends are pressed together to form a highly X-ray transmissive connection between ends of the band, and
(f) strap means that are connected with the band and extend away from its upper edge to a common point of attachment, whereby the patient is restrained from tilting significantly but is relatively free to twist. 7
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 7 806,565 Percy Dec. 5, 1905 1,080,297 Pitts et a1. Dec. 2, 1913 2,429,283 Veyt i. Oct. 21, 1947 2,623,678 Law Dec. 30, 1952 2,699,284 Rose Jan. 11, 1955 2,717,437 De Mestral Sept. 13, 1955 2,817,393 Mitchel Dec. 24, 1957' 3,009,235 De Mestral Nov. 21, 1961 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,241,893 France Aug. 16, 1960