US 3162196 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 22, 1964 Filed May 23. 1962 G. SALK 3,162,196
GARMENT FOR INCONTINENT INDIVIDUALS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR GILBERT SALK ATTORNEYS Dec. 22, 1964 G. SALK GARMENT FOR INCONTINENT INDIVIDUALS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 23, 1962 FIG. 2
INVENTOR GILBERT SALK BY 3W ATTORNEYS 1964 G. SALK 3,162,196
GARMENT FOR INCONTINENT INDIVIDUALS Filed May 23, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. GILBERT SALK ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,162,196 GARMENT FOR INCONTINENT INDIVIDUALS Gilbert Salk, Wahan, Mass, assignor to Murray Salk & Co., lnc., Brighton, Mass, a corporation of Massachusetts Filed May 23, 1962, Ser. No. 197,032 9 Claims. (Cl. 128-487) This invention relates to undergarments, and more particularly to sanitary garments for individuals suffering from urinary or bowel incontinence.
Many persons exhibit such incontinence which arises from a variety of causes. Typically, paralysis of pertinent sphincters from disease or operative procedures, seniiity, psychological conditions, or mere youth, are contributing factors. Efforts to adapt existing infants garments, such as diapers, have not been satisfactory because such'garments do not meet the requirements of adults or grown children. For instance, bedridden adults cannot be manipulated with the same facility as can be infants. Adult clothing is considerably more. expensive than that of children, and soiling with escaped body wastes is more distasteful, embarrassing and expensive to the adult than to the child. Adults travel and occupy a number of different beds at different times; soiling of such beds is undesirable. Infant slumbers are usually confined to cribs having reasonably waterproof bedding portions and prevention of soiling is not so improbable.
It is, therefore, a principal object of the present invention to provide a garment for incontinent individuals which overcomes these problems. This object'is accomplished by the provision of a garment comprising a substantially flat moisture-impervious sheet adapted to be folded to fit snugly about the wearers waist and thighs and in which when so folded all seams intermediate the waist .and thighs are located adjacent the body midline and are formed of overlapped edges; the garment also comprising a substantially flat moisture-absorbent member adapted to be folded about the Wearers waist and crotch between the Wearers body and the moisturedmpervious sheet. The latter when so folded, has intermediate the Waist and thighs, seams located adjacent the body sides formed of edges in overlapping relationship. The term seam as used herein is intended to mean the opening or interstice formed where separate edges are joined.
It is known that leakage of body fluids from an absorbent garment can be arrested or minimized by providing a so-called seamless pant which is elasticized at its waist or regular openings for snug fit. However, as has been pointed out above, adults and grown children cannot be manipulated as readily as infants. Thus, a pant ofthis type, which is necessarily removed by withdrawal over both legs of the wearer, is undesirable. To avoid this last objection, it is known to provide moisture-impervious sheets foldable into pants and having fastening means for retaining the sheet in folded position. Removal of the latterfrom the wearers body requires only unfolding. However, such foldable moisture-impervious sheets are usually fastened as by snaps along adjoining edges adjacent the hips of the wearer, and these seams are relatively unsealed. This construction allows fiuidto escape through these unsealed seams particularly where an inner moistureabsorbent member has its adjoining seams also adjacent I the hips. A simple overlap of the adjoining edges decreases leakage but not sufiiciently for many purposes.
The present invention provides a solution to this problem by loc'atin g the leakage seams of the water-impervious portion to, a single zone and includes means for shielding the entire zone, while locatingthe leakage seams of the water-absorbent portion in two zones each displaced a quarter of away about the body axis from the single zone. This insures a long path between the leakage zones and therefore reduces leakage significantly.
These andother objects of the present invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter. The invention accordingly comprises the product possessing the construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which are exemplified in the following detailed disclosure and the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the claims. For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of the combined ,elements of the present invention in unfolded form;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the moisture-impervious outer portion of the present invention in unfolded form and on a larger scale than FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the moisture-absorbent inner portion of the present invention in unfolded form and on the same scale as FIG. 2;
1 FIG. 4 is an elevational perspective view of the present invention in folded form; and
FIG. 5 is an elevational perspective view of the inner portion of FIG. 4 corresponding to FIG. 3 and on the same scale as FIG. 4. r Referring now to FIG. 1 there will be seen the elements of the present invention unfolded and combined to form garment 20. The latter generally includes moisture-impervious sheet 22 adaptedto be folded about thewaist and thighs of a wearer, and moisture-absorbent member 24, also adapted to be folded about the waist and thighs of the wearer between the wearers body and sheet 22.
Referring now specifically to FIG. 2 there will be seen sheet 22 in detail. Sheet 22 is preferably formed of a moisture-impervious, flexible material, such as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate, polytetrafiuorethylene or the like, which preferably has a relatively soft hand and may be subjected to boiling water, as by autoclaving, without substantial deterioration of its physical characteristics. The material preferably is rather thin gauge, about 0004, so that it will not be stiff and is comfortable to wear. Sheet 22 is formed in an approximate T-shape when unfolded. Sheet 22 includes a top or transverse portion of the T, shaped as a substantially elongated, rectangular portion 26; a central portion 28 adjacent the juncture of the base and top of the T; the base or stem portion 26 includes fastening means such as a pair of snaps 32 and another pair of snaps 34 disposed at the corner of the rectangular shape of the portion. Snaps 32 are mateable with snaps 34 in known manner. Long edge-36, of portion 26 (edge 36 being the one of the long, edges of the rectangular shapenot adjacent central portion 28) is preferably provided as an extensible and retractable edge, as by attaching thereto, for instance by stitching, elasticized tape 38. Spaced inwardly from the ends of edge 36 are a number of pairs of' fastening means, such. as snaps 40 and 42, thefunction of which will be explained.
Central portion 28 is intended to constitute a crotch covering and thigh encircling member when folded about the body of the wearer, and in order to retain portion 28 in this position, this portion, also includes a number of pairs of fastening means or snaps 44, 46 and 48. i It will be seen that central portion- 28is formed with two curved edges, the convexities of each facing one-another, in order to, conform portion28 to the thighs of the wearer. The
area ofportion 28 between the convexities of the curved edges is'adapted to form a crotch cover. 'The curved edges of portion 28 in order to be snugly and comfortably fitted about thethighs are also extensible and vretractile as by having attached thereto respectively elasticized tapes 50'and 52.,
Portion 30 is disposed so that the longer of the two Substantially parallel edges of its trapezoidal shape (indicated in broken lines at 54) is adjacent central portion 28 lying approximately between corresponding ends of the curved edges of portion 28, while the shorter parallel edge 56 is extensible and retractile as, by attachment thereto of elasticized'tape 58 in' the same manner as the tapes on the other portions. Portion 30 has attached thereto adjacent the ends of edge 56 a pair of fastening means such as snaps 60.
Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown moism reaabsorbent member 24 in detail comprising a first sheetlike element 62 shaped somewhat as a cross-section of an hourglass, and preferably formed of a comparatively strong, woven or knitted material such as combed cotton jersey, diamond-weave cotton, flannel, or other absorbent fiber attachment of the parts of the garment to one another, the parts may be replaced atyvill, and equally important, the parts may be separated for individual hygenic treatment. For instance,,liners can thus be subjected to the wearers thighs toward the lower extremities.
sterilization treatment as by extremely high heat which .which would severely damage sheet 22 if the latter and liner were-inseparable.
When it is desirable to employ garment 20, the latter is placed uopn asupine individual by sliding the unfolded assembled garment, liner 78 upwardly disposed, under the wearer-such that end portion 64 is adjacent the wearers buttocks and the remainder of the garment extends under End portion 66 of element 62 is drawn through the wearers crotch and snaps 72 are matedwith snaps 74 respectively adjacent thewearers hips.- This causes'curved edges 67 of central portion 65 each to enfolda thigh of the wearer 'andbeheld snugly by the resiliency of the elastic tape.
cloth. 7 It will be seen that because of the hour-glass con- 1 proximately on a line running from waist to thigh. Snaps figuration, element 62 can be described as having two substantially rectangular end portions 64 and 66, joined by a central portion 65 having two-inwardly curving edges 67, the latter being preferably resilient as by formation with elasticized tape. Element 62 has attached thereto means, such as pairs of snaps 68,70 and 72 disposed'adjacent the corners of rectangular end portion 64, andpairs of snaps 74 and 76 disposed adjacent the corner of rectangular end portion 66, for fastening element 62 together in folded form. f a
,The fastening meansdescribed herein are preferably snaps because of the smallbulk of the latter which insures a high degree of comfort to the wearer. These snaps are preferably formed of material, such as stainless steel, Phosphor bronze, nickel plated brass, or the like, which is highly resistant to corrosion from acid components of body wastes, and is relatively heat and moisture inert so as to, survive cleaning and sterilization treatment.
In order to increase the moisture-absorbing capability of member 24, the latter also includes liner 78' formed as an elongated rectangular element adapted to extend lengthwise between rectangular end portion 64,and.rec-
'Snaps 76 are then engaged with either snaps 68 or snaps 70 in accordance withi'whatever pair. of engaging snaps provides the most comfortable fit about the wearers waist. This forms, a pair of snap-held seams 90 and 92 each located respectively at a side of thewearers body an 70, for'instance, need not be provided if element 62 is eas ly stretched to accommodate for minor variations in waist SIZES-:7 On theother hand, additional snaps may also i be provided to supplement snaps 68 and 7 0ifit is desired folded,and'hence provides the major moisture absorbing to-obtain greater waist adjustment.v
7 When element 62 is folded as thus described andbecause liner 78 is attached to element 72"as-by mated'snaps 8 0 and82 or by stitching, the liner will be positioned immediately adjacent the skin. of the vwearer, extending through the wearers crotch between posterior and anterior lower trunk areas; Because the liner islocked to element 62, it will be held in this position when element 62 is so portion of the garment.
In order to minimize the escapeof moisture from the waste-laden liner and element 62,, moisture-impervious sheet 22 is now folded about moisture absorbing member 24 to substantially seal the latterbetween sheet 22 and the wearers bodye .Thisis accomplished by wrapping the tangular,v end portion 66 across central portion 65. Liner 78 preferably is formed as several contiguous layersfof 62 by coupling of snaps 80 to corresponding mating snaps '82 (only two shown) disposedron the body of element 62 in, the, rectangular end portions thereof. Alternatively,
liner 78 canfbe stitched to element 62 so as to be rela-, tively fixed, rather thanremovablea a Means are provided for releasably coupling moistureposition and forming thereby a single snap-held seamloends of rectangular portion 26 about the waist and hips of the wearer such that long edge '36 encircles the wearers waist. Snaps 32 are then engagedwith snaps 34, releasably retaining rectangular portion 26, in its' encircling cated onthe ventral midline running approximately from the umbilical area tothe crotch. Shielding portion 30 is drawn through the wearers crotch, and snap pair 48 is mated with snap pair-46 or snap pair 44, depending upon whatever choice of the latter two pairs provides the more comfortable yetsnug fit-ofelasticize'd tapes-'50 and 52 about gthe wea-rers thighs. vSnaps 60,'are engaged with snaps 40. at thewearerswaish; As shown particularly in FIG. 4, it -Wll1 now be seen that the shorter edge 56 of shielding edge '30 is firmly. attached .andlies across tape 38 absorbing member 24 to moisture-impervious sheet 22 so; i
that the two can be fitted to the wearers body in a single operation, yet are separable from one another for individual washing or sterilizing" operations; "Obviously, member 24 and sheet 22 are separable without providing such means, but for ease in handling theentire garment;
such means are preferred. Such'means is simply proi,
for instance, rectangular end portion .64, each tab, having.
00 r r i of rectangular portion 26.: .The shortness of edge 56' with vided, for example, the form of a pair of tabs .8 4.at-
tached to and extending outwardly of an-outeredg'e of,
respectively mounted thereon one of} corresponding pair I of fasteners or snaps 86. When garment 20, is fully assentebled in unfolded position such as shown'in FIG; 1, liner.
7.8'qverlies element62 and is attachedthereto by snaps 8t)- and 82, element :62 in turn overlies"moisture irnpervious; sheet; 22: and is attached thereto by;the. engagement of, snaps '84 -with' -snaps a42; 1 By; providing" this releasablesuch that, the shielding portion. overlies the: snap-held lapped seam provided bythe junctureof the narrow ends respect to edge 5,4 is particularly advantageous in=that while the lattenprovides ample vprotection.. of the crotch area the formerinsures that binding or bunching of material at the waist, is minimized. Y
7 urine flooded s'omeofthe moisture will also be absorbed or spread 1to theremainder'pf moisture absorbent member 24 wherein itwill beretained. 1 However, where there are copr ainounts'of moisture and bodymovementof the s w "re exnrsssss'm stv e p t-o m b 24 br'bl e. there will be atendency fo'r s'ome of the moistufefto es- I eape fromimember 24 through theopenings inseaznsffllv and 92.". However, the shape' of folded moisture-imperyi- 7 ous sheet122jprovi des. no openings adjacent seams and 92; thus, the moisture exuding through the latter will be trapped by sheet 22, at least in the areas adjacent these two seams. Of course, because tapes 50 and 52 provide a snug fit about the thighs and tape 38 provides a snug fit about the waist, the moisture will be restrained from leakage out of moisture-impervious sheet past any of these tapes. Hence moisture which would tend to escape from seams 90 and 92 is therefore accumulated in these areas or redirected, if in sufficient accumulation, by body movement or pressure back toward the large moisture absorbent capabilities of liner 78.
In the event moisture absorbed by member 24 becomes such that liner 78 is saturated, a small amount of liquid will tend to escape from folded moisture-impervious sheet 22 through the seam formed by the adjoining shorter edges of rectangular portion 26. Portion 26 is preferably dimensioned such that when folded the shorter ends thereof are in substantially overlapped relation and normal body pressure, combined with the elasticity of tapes 50, 52, 38 and 58, will hold this overlapping relationship quite close. In the event moisture does succeed in seeping through this seam, shielding portion 30 extending well across the entire seam, provides yet another moisture barrier.
In the rare event of production of such extreme quantities of liquids as to completely exceed the moisture absorbent capabilities of member 24, of course, there will be leakage between the layers provided by shielding portion 30 overlying the joined ends of rectangmlar portion 26. Particularly where longer edge 54 of the shielding portion abuts the margin of rectangular portion 26 opposite long edge 36, some leakage from between the abu ting edges is bound to occur under these circumstances. However, the leakage will be slow because of the close overlap of these edges, and thus provide adequate Warning that replacement need be made either of the entire garment, or moisture absorbent member 24. This insures that catastrophic flooding should not occur.
These and other objects of the present invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter. Since certain changes may be made in the above product without departing from the scope of the invention herein involved, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted in an illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
l. A garment for persons exhibiting incontinence of natural evacuations, said garment comprising: a first sheet-like element of moisture-absorbent material and having a substantially hour-glass shape adapted to be folded into pants form wherein the curved edges of said shape are intended to enclose a crotch covering portion;
means for fastening said first element immediately adjacent and about the body of the wearer so as to form first and second elongated seams respectively adjacent each hip of the wearer; a second sheet-like element of moisture impervious material having a substantially T-shaped form including top and stem portions and adapted to be folded into pants form; means for coupling said first element to i 1 and adjacent said second element as a layer thereon and inside said second element when worn by the wearer; means for so fastening the ends of the top portion of said T-shaped form about the wearers waist about said first elements as to shield said first and second seams and form a third elongated seam extending substantially along the midline of the wearer; and means for fastening an intermediate part of the stern portion of said T-shaped form to the edges of said top portion adjacent the crotch, and for fastening the end of said stem portion adjacent the edge of said top portion at the waist so as to shield said third seam.
2 A garment for persons exhibiting incontinence of natural evacuations, said garment comprising: a first sheet-like element of moisture-absorbent material and having'asubstantially hour-glass shape adapted to be folded into pants form wherein the curved edges of said shape are intended to enclose a crotch covering portion; means for fastening said first element immediately adjacent and about the body of the wearer so as to form first and second elongated seams respectively adjacent each hip of the wearer; a second sheet-like element of moisture-impervious material including a substantially T-shaped form having top and stem portions and adapted to be so folded into pants form as to form a third elongated seam displaced approximately a quarter of the distance about the body axis from said first and second means; means for coupling said first element to and adjacent said second element as a layer thereon and inside said second element when worn by the wearer so that said top portion forms a shield over said first and second seams; and said stem portion being couplable adjacent the waist of the wearer for forming a shield over said third seam.
3. A garment as defined in claim 1 wherein said first element comprises a substantially hourglass shape sheet, a moisture-absorbent substantially flat elongated liner, and means for attaching said liner to said sheet in faceto-face relation substantially along the axis of symmetry of the latter.
4. A garment as defined in claim 3 wherein said means for attaching said liner are releasable.
5. A garment for persons exhibiting incontinence of natural evacuations, said garment comprising: a first sheet-like element of moisture-absorbent material and having a substantially hour-glass shape adapted to be folded into pants form wherein the curved edges of said shape are intended to enclose a crotch-covering portion; mating snaps located adjacent the corner of said first element for fastening the latter about the body of a wearer so as to form first and second elongated seams adjacent each hip of the wearer; a second sheet-like element of moisture-impervious material having a substantially T-shaped form having top and stem portions and being adapted to be folded into pants form; said top portion being formed as a substantially elongated rectangular portion, the part of said stem adjacent said top portion having curved edges of facing convcxities, and the remainder of said stem portion being substantially trapezoidal in shape such that the longer of the two approximately parallel edges thereof lies between corresponding ends of said curved edges, and the shorter of said two approximately parallel edges is at the base of said stem portion; mating snaps disposed adjacent the corner of said top portion for fastening the shorter edges of said top portion adjacent one end about the wearers waist outside of said first element in a shielding relation to said first and second seams and to form a third elongated seam extending substantially along the midline of the wearer; mating snaps disposed adjacent the ends of said longer of said two approximately parallel edges and on said top portion for fastening said curved edges of said stem portion in encircling relation to the thighs and crotch of the wearer; and mating snaps disposed adjacent said shorter of said two approximately parallel edges and on said top portion for fastening the remainder of said stern portion in shielding relation overlying said third seam and coupling meansfor releasably retaining said first element adjacent said second element so that when worn the second element overlies said first element in said shielding relation.
' 6. A garment asdefined in claim 5 wherein said coupling means constitutes means for releasably retaining said first and second element in substantially contiguous relation to one another wherein the respective pairs of curved edges of each element are adjacent to one another.
7. A garment as defined in claim 5 wherein said moisture-absorbent material is cloth and said moisture-impervious material is polyvinyl chloride.
8. A garment as defined in claim 5 wherein all of said curved edges, said shorter edge of said two approximately 'said rectangular portion of said second element, and the end edges of said first element, are elasticized.
9. A garment for persons exhibiting incontinence of a natural evacuations, said garment being foldable into pants form and being when unfolded a 3-layer garment comprising a first layer intended to be adjacent the skin of the crotch areas of a wearer and formed as a substantially elongated moisture-absorbent sheet; a second layer to which said first layer is attached, said second layer being intended to overlie said first layer when folded; said second layer being formed as a substantially hourglass shaped sheet having its axis of symmetry substantially along the axis 10f elongation of said first layer, a third layer intended to overlie said second layer when folded, said third layer'being formed as a moisture-impervious T-shaped sheet having top arid/stem portions, and having its axis of symmetry lying substantially along the axis of symmetry of said second layer; said top portion beingsubstantially an elongated rectangle, said stem portion intermediate the top portionfand bottom thereof having oppositely curved edges with their convexities directed toward one another, and the remainder of said stem portion being substantially trapezoidal in shape and means for releasably retaining said second and third element in substantially contiguous relation to one another wherein the respective curved edges of said second and third element are adjacent one another.
References Cited by the Examiner 7 UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,431,571 '11/47 Lehr V '128-284 2,607,348 8/52 Rosenblatt" "1128-284 3,000,381 9/61 'Mulhole et a1. .12s 2s7 FOREIGN? PATENTS 959,845 4/50 France,
59,193 9/53 :France. 1,046,351 12/53 France.
734,994 8/55 Great Britain. 1,149,716 12/57 France.
vRICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner. JORDAN FRANKLIN, Examiner.