US 3175558 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 1965 J. c. CAILLOUETTE ETAL 3,175,558
THERMAL THERAPEUTIC PACK Filed March 14, 1962 Rio. 1.
o .Zvl/snroes. 1 (144455 C. 60/4400571'5 "7mm aw United States Patent 3,175,558 THERMAL THERAPEUTIC PACK James C. Caillouette, 685 Oak Knoll Circle, Pasadena, Calif., and William B. Worley, 2932 N. Santa Anita, Altadena, Calif. a
Filed Mar. 14, 1962, Ser. No. 179,719 9 Claims. (Cl. 128-403) The present invention relates to a therapeutic pack for personal use, as to apply heat or cold to a portion of the body.
It has been long known that cold packs are eflective to avoid the swelling attendant many human injuries and thereby alleviate pain to a considerable extent. As a result, a number of devices have been proposed for the application of cold to various parts of the body.
Recently, cold applications to the perineum in post delivery pregnancy cases have been found very effective. This treatment is particularly effective when the patient is urged to become mobile soon after delivery.- However, the prior cold-pack devices used in the application have left considerable to be desired. Specifically, the area of treatment is extremely sensitive, it is diflicult to hold a pack adjacent, and furthermore, a fluid discharge must be accommodated. As a result of these considerations prior devices for applying cold have been either uncomfortable for the patient, diflicult and inconvenient to use, or expensive to use. For example, the common technique for application of cold in this instance has been to wrap a cold pack with a towel that is then applied to the perineum. Of course, the patient must lie immobile during the treatment and the shape and size of the pack result in some discomfort. When the pack is removed, the towel must either be laundered or discarded. If the latter choice is made, the treatment is quite expensive. However, laundering the towels is an extremely unpleasant and diflicult task. In either event, the actual cold pack containing ice or cold fluid cannot be discarded and must be cleaned. This is also quite an unpleasant task. Furthermore, if the pack is made of plastic or rubber it may become permanently stained so that its future use is restricted.
Another disadvantage of prior cold application devices in the proposed use has been temperature variation. Of course, ice maintains a substantially constant temperature; however, its solid nature causes it to be uncomfortable when placed against the body. Liquid substances conform to the body but they vary considerably in temperature so that initially the pack is too cold, then after brief body contact it becomes too warm to be effective. Therefore, a need exists for a liquid cold pack which maintains a somewhat uniform temperature over a sustained period of use.
In addition to the particular situations considered above for the use of a cold pack, the treatment of various parts of the body with heat hasalso long been recognized as effective. Conventionally heat has been applied to the body by electrical appliances, or by heat storage devices. These apparatus require a source of electricity or means to warm a hot pack. As a result, a need exists for a hot pack which can be easily stored and transported, and which is capable of supplying heat without electricity or an outside source of heat.
In general, the present invention comprises an improved therapeutic pack which may be employed to apply heat or cold to the body. More specifically, one pack of the invention includes an absorbent disposable pad held together by a wrapper which includes tabs to atfix the pack to the body. The wrapper and pad form a pocket which receives a layer of liquid-resistant material that may contain a heat pack or a coolant. It one form of 3,175,558 Patented Mar. 30, 1965 ICC the invention, the liquid-resistant material comprises a bag containing chemicals (one of which is liquid) to produce an endothermic or an exothermic temperature changing reaction. The liquid is held apart from the other chemicals by a separator means which is opened when the pack is to be used, thereby setting off the desired reaction. A portion of the separated chemicals may be enclosed in time-delay capsules to provide continued cooling or heating over a sustained interval.
An object of the present invention is to provide an improved therapeutic pack.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved therapeutic cold pack, particularly well suited for post delivery use in pregnancy cases.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an economical therapeutic pack which can be stored at normal temperature and which is readily available for applying cold or heat.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an absorbent disposable pad adapted for the perineum, and having a pocket to receive a bag of flexible coolant.
Still one other object of the present invention is to provide a disposable pack which may be easily and conveniently stored and which is capable of supplying heat with no outside source of energy.
Still a further object of the present invention is to provide a disposable integral therapeutic pack which may be stored at room temperature, and used to provide heat or cold over a sustained interval.
One further object of the present invention is to pro vide an improved disposable cold pack for the perineum which may be comfortably applied, as well as conveniently and pleasantly used.
These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following, taken in conjunction with the drawing, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a therapeutic pack constructed in accordance with the present invention, and showing the pack partly opened;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 22 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of a temperature-change bag incorporating the present invention; and
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of an alternative form therapeutic pack incorporating the present invention.
Referring initially to FIGURE 1, there is shown an absorbent pack P containing a pocket 0, for insertion of a temperature-change bag B. The pack P is absorbent material and incorporates tabs T by which it is aflixed to the body. The bag B may take various forms as a disposable polyethylene container or a more desirable bag designed for repeated use. In any event, the bag B is insulated from the body by the pack P, which also serves to receive and hold fluid discharged from the body. After a period of use, the pack is removed and discarded either with or without the bag B depending on the type bag employed.
Considering the exemplary structure in greater detail, reference will now be had to both FIGURES 1 and 2. The body of the pack P is formed by a pad 10 of absorbent material which may comprise any various absorbent fibers formed into a relatively thick rectangular configuration.
An inner wrapper 12 is positioned about the pad 10 and forms the pocket 0 in cooperation therewith, which pocket receives the bag B. The end 14 of the wrapper 12 overlaps the end 16 thereof to completely enclose the pad 10. The inner wrapper 12 may be formed of various materials as soft disposable gauze to hold the pad 10 together.
Above the overlapped ends 14 and 16 of the inner wrapper 12, lies a sheet 18 of fluid-resistant material, e.g.
' an endothermic or an exothermic reaction.
polyethylene. This sheet 18 is substantially the same size as the pad and serves as a fiuid dam or water=proof darn for the contents of the pad 10, as well as to reinforce the pocket 0.. This sheet is particularly important when the pad is. used without the bag BI.
.An outside cover 20 containing a pocket entry 21 encircles the components of the pack P to hold these components integral and further reinforce the pocket 0. The
longer edges 22 and 24 of the cover overlap to close the pack; The short edges 26 and 28 are well removed from the endsof the pad lfiand thus comprise the tabs T. The outside cover 20 may be formed of various disposable-quality gauze materials sufiiciently strong to hold the pack together inuse. v
In the manufacture of the pack of FIGURES l and 2, the unit is formed without the bag B, but with the pocket OWell-defined to receive and contain the bag. Of course,
various well-known machine production techniques may be employed to form the pack'with the pocket entry 21. In: using the pack, various types of coolant containers in the form of the'bag B are inserted through'the'e'ntry' 21' into the pocket 0. Next, the pack is attached to the body,
as by a belt for the perineum, which clasps the tabs T to hold the pad 10 contiguousto the body with the bag 10 ethylene. The container'30 is divided into two compartments 32'and 34 by a readily fracturable seal 36.
The two compartments 32 and 34 contain the chemical ingredients for a temperature-changing reaction, i.e. either For example, the compartment 32 may hold fluid 38 e.g. water, while the compartment 34 contains pellets 40. One portion ma of the pellets 40 is loose in the compartment 34, while other ortions 4% and 40c are held in time-delay gelatine capsules 42 and 44'respectiv'ely. These capsules may be formed of gelatine or other substances which are dissolvable by the fluid 38, to expose the pellets 40b and and 40c to the fluid 38 after an interval of time delay.
The walls of the capsule 44are thicker than those of the capsule 42, so that the instants of exposure of the pellets 40b and 40 to the fluid38 are Well separated in time. Of course, the contact of the pellets 40 by the fluid 38 produces the desired reaction to in turn produce either'heat or cold, e.g. the reaction is either endothermic or exothermic.
In the manufacture of the bag B'of FIGURE 3, two sheets 48 and 52 of plastic may be Welded together along edge seals 50, leaving a single opening in the resulting container. Next, the pellets 40 may be placed in the container and the fracturable seal 36 accomplished as by various cements. This operation may also include afiixing pull grips 54 and 56,- contiguous the seal 36, which grips are employed to fracture the seal. Thereafter the fluid 38 is placed in the container which is then sealed closed.
In using the bag B of FIGURE 3, it is taken from a storage location at room'temperature and the pull grips 54 and 56 are urged apart to fracture the seal 36. T hereous number's of time delay capsules may be employed in different bags depending on the desiredrefifcct. However, it is readily apparent that this aspect of the present invention facilitates temperature control over an extended interval'of use for a therapeutic pack. This feature is useful in various applications and is'incorporated in an alternative form in the pack of FIGURE 4 specifically designed for use in post-delivery pregnancy cases, and hemorrhoid cases, but which of course is also useful to treat other areas of the body. V
Referring to FIGURE 4, there is shown another exemplary form of the invention includingan outside gauze cover 60 formed in arshape similar to the pack P of FIG- URE 1, and enclosing an absorbent pad 62 and a waterproof bag 63. In the unit of FIGURE 4 the pad 62 and the bag 63 are held in position by the cover 60 which completely encloses these components. The bag 63 contains an inner bag 64 which is formed to be fluid proof and is readily fracturable by pressure exerted on the outside of th e pad. This inner bag may comprise thin polyethylene containing vthe component fluid 38 for a desired chemical reaction. q
The bag 63, also contains pellets 66, a portion 66a of which is containedin a time-delay capsulc68, as previous 'ly described; The pellets 66' are the other chemical component for the desired chemical reaction.
In the use of the pack of FIGURE 4, the pack'is taken from a room-temperature storage location, and pressure is applied'to the fluid-containing innerbag 64 .by hand, to fracturethat bag. Thereupon the fluid contacts the pellets 65 and a first chemical reaction occurs to produce heat or cold.
The pack is then promptly ailixed to the bodyas by a belt (not shown) clasping the tabs T. During the period of actual use, the absorbent pad 62 acts to insulate the bag 63 from the body, resulting in the application of heat or cold at a' somewhat controlled rate, and also to receive and I hold fluids discharged from the body.
After a period use, the capsule 68 deteriorates and another cooling or heating reaction occurs. Thus the pack is maintained cold or hot over a sustained interval of use while thepad 62 may be filled substantially'to capacity. At that time the'pack is removed and'discharded as a unit.
In certain aspects,the pack of FIGURE 4 is more expensive, yet in some applications it will he most economical because it does not require temperature-controlled storage and it avoids cleaning labor. Furthermore, the use of this pack is not in any Way unpleasant for either the patient, or the person in attendance. Thus, this pack as well as various other embodiments of the present invention provides an economical, and convenient device for applying regulated cold or heat to thebody which is comfortable to the patient.
These and other features of the present invention are evident from the embodiments described herein; however, the scope of the invention is not to be limited to these embodiments, but rather is to be defined by the claims. For example, various chemicals and packages maybe combined, and specifically, the chemical ammonium nitrate and water may be used to produce an endothermic reaction, and of course various other possibilities are also available.
What is claimed is: p
'1. A therapeutic pack for thermal treatment, comprising; a containing bag of flexible fluid proof material; chemical means Within said b ag including a liquid component and a separate non-liquid component for producing a temperature-changing reaction upon mixture of said components; fracturable means for containing said liquid component of said chemical means apart from said separate non-liquid component of said chemical means within said bag; and means 'dissolvable by said liquid component isolating at least a portion of said separate non-liquid component of said chemical means from the space within said containing b-ag accessible tosaid liquid component after said fracturable means is fractured, whereby said portion of said separate non-liquid component of said chemical means becomes accessible to said liquid component after a time delay interval.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said fracturable means comprises a seam in said bag which may be readily broken.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2 further including means to fracture said seam.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said fracturable means comprises a second bag inside said containing bag which is more readily fractured than said containing bag.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said chemical means produce an endothermic reaction.
6. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said chemical means produce an exothermic reaction.
7. Means according to claim 1 wherein said means dissolvable comprise a gelatine container and said liquid component comprises water to dissolve said gelatine.
8. A therapeutic pack for thermal treatment of a person, comprising: a containing bag of flexible fluid proof material; chemical means within said containing bag including a liquid component and a separate non-liquid component for producing a temperaturewhanging reaction upon mixture of said components within said bag; fr-acturable means for containing said liquid component of said chemical means apart from said separate component of said chemical means; means dissolvable by said liquid component of said chemical means isolating at least a portion of said separate component of said chemical means from the space accessible to said liquid component of said chemical means after said fracturable means is fractured, whereby said portion of said separate non-liquid component of said chemical means becomes accessible to said liquid component after a time delay interval; an absorbent pad of substantially coincident size to said containing bag; and wrapper means of flexible material for holding said pad and said containing bag together, whereby said pad may be held adjacent said person.
9. A therapeutic pack according to claim 8 further comprising a dam positioned contiguous to said pad, whereby to isolate said absorbent pad from said containing bag.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,567,931 Epler Dec. 29, 1925 2,438,643 Moore Mar. 30, 1948 2,547,886 Poux Apr. 3, 1951 2,573,791 Howells Nov. 6, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS 316,878 Great Britain June 112, 1930