US 3246645 A
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April 19, 1966 c. H. KERNS ETAL DIAGNOSTIC BATH APPARATUS Filed Jan. '7, 1963 INVENTORS CECIL H. KERNS JESSE L. ROGERS BY 4 United States Patent DIAGNOSTIC BATH AIPARATUS Cecil H. Kerns, Acton Lane, Waldorf, Md., and Jesse L. Rogers, 2014 Connecticut Ave., Washington, D.C. Filed Jan. 7, 1963, Ser. No. 249,754 1 Claim. (Cl. 1282.1)
This invention relates to new and useful improvements in diagnostic apparatus, and the principal object of the invention is to enable medical diagnosticians to observe and evaluate a combined effect of hydrotherapy and electro-therapy upon a patients body.
Briefly, the apparatus in accordance with the invention consists of a bathing tank or tub containing an electrolyte such as mineral water, for example, in which the patent is immersed. Means are provided for passing galvanic current through the electrolyte and through the patients body which functions as one of the electrodes, so that reactions of the patient under dilferent bath temperatures and variable current strengths may be deter mined.
.Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the folio-wing description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like characters of reference are used to designate like parts, and wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a view, partly in vertical section and partly in side elevation, of the diagnostic apparatus in accordance with the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view, taken substantially in the plane-of the line 2-2 in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the battery and instrument housing;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the cathode plate;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of the anode with its holder;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged sectional detail, taken substantially in the plane of the line 6-6 in FIGURE 5; and
FIGURE 7 is a wiring diagram of the electrical components used in the apparatus.
Referring now to the accompanying drawings in detail, the diagnostic apparatus in accordance with the invention is designated generally by the reference numeral 10 and embodies a bathing tub or tank 11 which may be in the form of a conventional bath tub, although it is preferred that a specially constructed tank be utilized to enable the patent to assume a comfortable, reclining position. As shown inthe drawings, such a special tank is substantially rectangular and includes a pair of side walls 12, a front wall 13, a back wall 14 and a contoured bottom 15. 15a, 21 rearwardly and upwardly extending intermediate portion 15b, and a rearwardly sloping seat portion 15c. The bottom 15 includes a horizontal foot or base portion 15a, a rearwardly and upwardly sloping seat portion 150. By virtue of the portion 15b, the seat portion 150 is spaced above the lioor or other supporting surface 16 on which the base portion 15a rests, and suitable legs 17 extend downwardly from the seat portion to the floor in order to properly stabilize the entire tub.
The seat portion 15c coacts with the back wall 14 of the tub to provide a chair-like arrangement, on which the patient may be seated as indicated at 18, it being noted that the back wall 14 is slanted rearwardly so that the patient may assume a comfortable, reclining position, as shown. The top of the tank is open and the back of the patients head is received in a transversely curved, upwardly elongated recess or depression 19 which is formed in the upper portion of the back Wall to prevent the patients head from moving or sliding from side to side. The patients legs are received in the lower portion of the tub defined by the bottom portions 15a, 15b and lower portions of the walls 12, 13, and this lower portion Patented Apr. 19, 1966 "ice of the tub is preferably narrower than the seat portion 15c which is of the same width as the upper portion of the tub. This narrowing is effected by inward offsets of the side walls 12 as indicated at 12a, with the result that the capacity of the tub is decreased to minimize waste of electrolyte which the tub contains.
Any suitable conventional means may be used for filling and draining the tub with electrolyte at a selected temperature, the level of the electrolyte, indicated at 20, being high enough to reach to the patients shoulders. Electrolyte suitable for use in the apparatus is mineral water, or ordinary water with sodium chloride and/or calcium chloride added thereto.
The entire tub 11 is formed from insulating material or has an insulating lining or coating on the inner surface thereof. Preferably, the tub as an integral unit may be molded from Fiberglas.
A cathode plate 21 is removably inserted in the tub, the same including a foot portion 22 which rests on the base portion 15a, a vertical portion 23 which extends along the inner surface of the front wall 13, and an inverted hook portion 24 which seats over the upper edge of the Wall 13, as shown. A current conductor 25 is connected to the plate 21 in any suitable manner. The cathode plate 21 is preferably formed from copper.
The anode 26 is in the form of a round bar or hand grip which has its endpositions secured by suitable fasteners 27 to a strap or plate-like anode holder 28. The latter extends transversely of the open top of the tub and is provided at its ends with inturned hook portions or guides 29 to slidably engage 'outturned flanges 30 which are provided at the upper edges of the tub side walls 12. A recess 31 is provided in the holder 28 and is spanned by the anode bar 26 so that the latter may be conveniently gripped by either or both of the patients hands, and it will be observed that the holder may he slid along the flanges 31) to a suitably adjusted position for comfortable grasping by the patient. The anode bar 26 is preferably formed from cast iron, while the holder 23 may be of insulating material such as Fiberglas.
A current conductor 32 is connected to the anode 26 by one of the fasteners 27, it being understood that both the conductors 25 and 32 are of a flexible nature.
The top of the tub 11 also supports a transversely elongated casing or housing 33 which is provided at the ends of its bottom portion with inturned hook portions or guides 34 to slidably engage the tub flanges 3h. The housing 33 is formed from suitable insulating material and accommodates therein a battery consisting of a group of dry cells 35, access to the battery being had through a suitable door or cover 36 with which the housing is equipped. One wall of the housing 33 carries a voltmeter 37 and a milli-ammeter 38, as well as a single-pole, double throw switch 3?. As shown in FIGURE 7, the positive terminal 441 of the battery of cells 35 is connected by a conductor 41 to the switch 3%, which is in circuit selectively with the milli-ammeter 38 and the voltmeter 37. The conductor 32 of the anode 26 is connected to the milli-ammeter. while the voltmeter is connected by a conductor 42 to the cathode conductor 25. The latter is equipped with a terminal clip 43 which may be selectively connected to the negative pole 44 of any one of the battery cells 35 to establish a desired voltage in the circuit. As an example, eight of the cells 35 may be used in the battery, and by connecting the terminal clip 43 with the negative terminal or pole of the various cells, an effective voltage of 1 /2 volts to 12 volts may be obtained in 1 /2 volt increments. The voltage of the battery may be determined by setting the switch 39 so that current passes through the voltmeter 37, as will be readily apparent.
When a patient is immersed in the electrolyte in the tub 11 and grasps the anode bar 26 with his hand, the body of the patient in effect becomes an extension of the anode, with galvanic current flowing from the battery cells 35 through the conductor 41, through the switch 39, the ammeter 38, the conductor 32 and the anode comprising the bar 26 as well as the body of the patient, into the electrolyte in the tub, and thence through the cathode plate 21 and conductor 25 to the battery. In so doing, the current flow will be divided at the anode, in proportion to the resistance offered thereto, with some current passing from the anode bar 26 and through the patients arms into the electrolyte and to the cathode 21, and some current passing directly through the body of the patient to the cathode with which the patients feet are in contact. The total current strength in the circuit will be measured by the milli-ammeter 38, and since the resistance of the electrolyte remains substantially constant in a given range of temperature, the ammeter 38 will detect any variations in the strength of current flowing directly through the patients body. This currnet strength, of course, may be increased or decreased by varying the electromotive force, that is, by connecting the terminal clip 43 to a selected one of the battery cells 35, to increase or decrease the voltage as desired. However, with the bath temperature and voltage remaining substantially constant, variations in current strength may be observed on the ammeter 38, in accordance with variations in the resistance which the patients body offers to the flow of current therethrough.
It will be understood, of course, that the cathode plate 21 may be readily removed from the tub for purposes of inspection and cleaning, and that the anode holder 28 as Well as the housing 33 may be also removed to permit the patient to enter and leave the tub, as desired.
When the diagnostic apparatus in accordance with the invention is used, pulse and cardiograph tests are made and charts are kept to record the same along with milliammeter and voltmeter readings and temperatures of the bath, so that the patients reactions to successive diagnoses may be eifectively coordinated.
While in the foregoing there has been described and shown the preferred embodiment of the invention, various modifications may become apparent to those skilled in the art to which the invention relates. Accordingly, it is not desired to limit the invention to this disclosure and various modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the spirit and scope of the appended claim.
What is claimed as new is:
In a diagnostic bath apparatus, the combination of a bathing tank adapted to receive an electrolyte and a patient immersed therein, said tank having a bottom, an open top and a pair of parallel side walls provided at their top edges with a pair of outturned flanges, and means for passing galvanic current through the body of a patient in said tank, said means comprising a cathode plate positioned on the bottom of the tank, an elongated holder strap spanning the open top of the tank, a pair of inturned hook-shaped guides provided at the opposite ends or" said holder strap and slida'bly engaging said outturned flanges whereby to slidably adjustably retain the holder strap in position on top of the tank and prevent said strap from lifting 01f said flanges, and an anode bar secured to the top of said holder strap adjacent one longitudinal edge of the latter, said one longitudinal edge portion of said holder strap being provided with an open recess spanned by said anode bar whereby to provide clearance for grasping of the anode bar by the hands of a patient.
References Cited by theExaminer UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,801,634 8/1957 St. Cyr 128369 FOREIGN PATENTS 779,941 1/1935 France. 600,719 7/1934 Germany.
OTHER REFERENCES Knox: pages 1746-1747 of U.S. Naval Medical Bulletin for 1943.
RICHARD A. GA'UDET, Primary Examiner. LOUIS R. PRINCE, Examiner.