US 3186405 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
un 1965 R. E. BAILEY ETAL INFLATABLE SPLINT 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed NOV. 13, 1962 A TT 0 R N E Y June 1965 R. E. BAILEY ETAL 3,
INFLATABLE SPLIN'I Filed NOV. 13, 1962 2 shflets-sheel, 2
TTORNEY 3,186,405 INFLATABLE SPLINT Robert E. Bailey, Worland, and Richard C. Leaverton,
Casper, Wyo. Filed Nov. 13, 1962, Ser. No. 237,087
9 Claims. (Cl. 128--87) The present invention relates to surgical apparatus and, more particularly, to an improved inflatable splint.
Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide an inflatable spline which is suitable for immobilizing and traction purposes.
Another object is to provide a splint which allows examination of portions of the splinted area without disturbing the splinting effect.
Another object is to provide a splint which allows X-ray diagnosis without removal of the splint.
Another object is to provide a splint which allows ambient air to reach the splinted area whereby skin irritation and other discomforts are minimized.
Another object is to provide such a splint provided with means for adjusting the effective length thereof.
Another object is to provide such a splint adapted to be connected to one or more splints to increase the width thereof. a 3
A further object is to accomplish the foregoing in a simple, practical, reliable and economical manner.
Other and further objects of the invention will be obvious upon an understanding of the illustrative embodiment about to be described, or will be indicated in the appended claims, and various advantages not referred to herein will occur to one skilled in the art upon employment of the invention in practice.
A preferred embodiment of the invention has been chosen for purposes of illustration and description, and is shown in the accompanying drawings, forming a part of the specification, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a splint in accordance with the present invention applied to an arm, with portions broken away to illustrate details of construction and arrangement.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 2-2 on FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view illustrating the manner in which the inflatable pad of the splint is fastened.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view illustrating the pad in flat or unfolded condition.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 5-5 on FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the line 66 on FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of the splint applied to a leg.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, there is shown a splint which generally comprises an inflatable pad 10 (FIGS. 2 to 4), a cover 11 (FIGS. 1, 2 and 7) for the pad 10, and suitable means 12 for eifecting inflation of the pad 10 after being applied to a portion of a body.
As shown in FIGS. 2 to 6, the pad 10 comprises a plurality of lengthwise extending tubular flexible inflatable elements 14 arranged side-by-side, suitable means 15 and 16 for structurally connecting the elements at their respective ends to provide a generally rectangular pad, and a plurality of lengthwise spaced, individually operable cooperating fasteners at the sides of the pad, such as cooperating male and female snap fasteners 17 and 18 on tabs 19 secured to the elements 14 at its respective sides.
The connecting means 15 (FIG. 4) include a cult portion 20 secured to the elements 14 at one end thereof and a strap member 21 at opposite sides of the cuff portion 3,186,435 Patented June 1, 1965 "Ice respectively provided with apertures 22 and buckles 24. The connecting means 16 are in the form of an elongate pouch 25 for receiving the other end of the elements 14.
The tubular elements 14, in accordance with the invention, are each divided into a plurality of lengthwise extending cells 26 (FIGS. 3 to 6) with adjacent cells of each element being connected for fluid flow communication at their ends by restricted passageway means 27, a row of side-by-side adjacent cells 26 are manifolded together for fluid flow communication by passageway means 28 (FIG. 2), and a cell of one element 14 in the manifolded row of cells is provided with a port 29 equipped with a suitable valve 3% (FIG. 2) for effecting inflation and deflation of the pad of cells. Preferably, for the reasonto be stated hereinafter, the row of manifolded cells 26 is at about the midpoint between ends of the pad.
The pad 10 as just described may be constructed of any material which lends itself to inflation by air or other compressed gases, such as rubber, rubberized fabric, and plastic resins. The fasteners 17, 18 and the buckle 24 preferably are formed of plastic resin.
The cover 11 is a rectangular sheet of fabric having rows of cooperating male and female snap fasteners 31 and 32 adjacent its respective side. The cover sheet 11 has a width to bewrapped about the pad 10 and fastened when the pad is applied to the body portion, and has a length greater than that of the pad so that portions 33 at the ends of the cover sheet extend outwardly beyond the ends of the pad. These end portions 33 are folded over the ends of the pad (FIG. 1) and are tied down by strings 34 extending about the body portion to thereby enclose the ends of the pad. The cover sheet is formed with an opening 35 which is positioned to allow the port 29 to extend therethrough (FIG. 2). Preferably, the cover sheet is formed of a porous fabric to allow air to pass therethrough, and the fasteners 31, 32 are formed of plastic resin.
The inflating means 12 are illustrated herein (FIG. 1) as a squeezable bulb for producing air under pressure which is conducted through the valve 30 and the port 29 to effect inflation of the pad 10. However, it will be appreciated that other types of inflation devices, such as vessels containing gas under pressure, could be utilized.
In order to vary the effective length of the splint pad,
annular bands or strings 36 may be wrapped about the pad or the cover (FIG. 1) and fastened or tied to provide an annular zone between the ends of the pad and the port 29 which constricts the cells 26 or the passageways 27 to prevent the end portion of the pad from being inflated.
In using the splint, the pad 10 is wrapped about the body portion and is fastened thereto, the cover 11 is wrapped about the pad and is fastened, and, if required, the strings 36 are applied (FIG. 1). The pad is then inflated to a desired pressure. The cover 11 now serves to restrict the outward swelling of the cells 26 and causes them to apply the desired pressure inwardly for immobil izing purposes and to longitudinally stiffen the pad for traction purposes.
' The spaces between lengthwise adjacent cells 26 provide openings 37 (FIGS. 3 and 4) whereby air passing through the porous fabric cover sheet also passes through these openings to allow the splint to breathe and thus minimize skin irritation or other discomforts at the splinted body portion area.
Inspection of the splinted area is facilitated without affecting the splinting effect by reason of the pad construction which allows the physician to unfasten enough of the snaps 31, 32 and 17, 18 and to move aside adjacent elements 14 to expose portions of the splinted areas for examination. Also, by reason of the absence of metallic parts in the splint structure, X-ray diagnosis of the splinted area can be performed without removal of I;
the splint. 7
By using a valve 30 generally known as a tire valve, the pressure in the splint pad can be increased or decreased from time to time as may be desired.
It is contemplated that a single pad 10 may be used fora body portion havinga given circumference and that two or more pads may be joined. at their sides ;by the fasteners 17, 18 when the splint is to be used on body portionshaving a greater circumference, for example, the thigh or torso.
From the foregoing description, it will be seen that the present invention provides a new and'useful inflatable splint.
As various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts herein, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and without 'sacr-ificingiany of its advantages, it is to be understood that all matterherein is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in any limiting sense.
a We claim: 1. An inflatable splint comprising a plurality of length- .Wise extending tubular laterally disconnected flexible inflatable elements arranged side-by-side and having means connecting only the ends thereof to provide a composite generally rectangular pad constructed and arranged to be wrapped about a portion of a body with said elements contacting the body portion, said elements each being divided into a multiplicity of relatively shortlengthwise extending cells having restricted passageway means connecting ad-. jacent cells to provide breathing spaces between adjacent cells and certain of said cells having passageway means for providing fluid flow communication between adjacent elements and one of said elements havingfla valved port for etfecting inflation and deflation of said elements, said valved port and said passageway means are at about the midpoint between opposite ends of said pad, means for removably attaching opposite sides of the pad when the pad is wrapped about the body portion, annular means for constricting the pad at an annular zone between an end of said pad and said valved port to prevent inflation of said tubular elements beyond the zone, and a flexible porous cover on the pad for confining and positioning said tubular elements.
2. A splint according to claim 1, wherein said attaching means are carried by'opposite sides of the pad and include a plurality of lengthwise spaced individually operable fasteners.
3. A splint according to claim 1, wherein said cover is a sheet overlying the pad and has means for removably fastening opposite sides thereof.
4. A splint according to claim 3, wherein said fastening means include a plurality of lengthwise spaced individu ally operable fasteners.
5. A splint according to claim 3, wherein said attaching means of the pad and said fastening means of said cover are each arranged in a row adjacent each other.
6. A splint according to claim 5, wherein said attaching means and said fastening means include lengthwise spaced individually operable elements.
'7. A splint according to claim 1, wherein said cover extends outwardly from the end of the pad to provide an annular portion for covering the ends of the pad and said annular portion has means thereon for removably fastening the same about the body portion.
8. A splint according to claim 1, wherein said cover has an opening in alignment with said valved port.
9. A splint according to claim 1, wherein said annular means is a string tied about said cover.
References Cited by the Examiner V UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,640,270 8/27 Furman 244-143 2,028,060 1/36 Gilbert 128-87 2,823,668 2/58 Van Court et al. 128-87 2,943,859 7/60 Koski et al 273-189 3,074,398 -l/63 Guiney 128-87 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner. JORDAN FRANKLIN, Examiner.