US 3284817 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
THERAPEUTIC CUSHION Filed Oct. 1, 1963 2 ts-Sheet l INVENTOR CHARLES LANDWIRTH ATTORNEY Nov. 15, 1966 c, LANDWIRTH 3,284,817
THERAPEUTIC CUSHION 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed 001;. l 1963 INVENTOR.
CHARLES LANDWIRTH ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,284,817 THERAPEUTIC CUSHION Charles Landwirth, 214 Kenwood Place, Michigan City, Ind.
Filed Oct. 1, 1963, Ser. No. 313,094 4 Claims. (Cl. 327) This invention relates to a therapeutic cushion which is intended primarily for use in sickrooms and ambulances or by persons suffering from fractures or partial paralysis but not bedridden.
The primary object of this invention is to provide a cushion of this character which is of predetermined irregular shape permitting it to be used in different positions and in different ways for different purposes by bedridden patients, or by persons who require support in different ways.
A further object is to provide a cushion of this character which is provided with a sheath having sufiicient flexibility to permit change of the shape of the cushion under pressure and waterproof to permit washing and sterilization thereof.
A further object is to provide a cushion of this character having a detachably mounted outer sheath formed at least in part of fabric for the comfort of a patient resting thereon and capable of resisting sliding or displacement of the cushion from desired position upon a bed sheet or supporting surface.
A further object is to provide a cushion of this character with means for detachably securing the cushion in desired attitude to the arm or leg of a patient to maintain a selected orientation of the cushion to the patient.
A further object is to provide means for supporting the foot of a bedridden patient in slightly elevated position at a point spaced from the heel and for positioning the foot in selected angular position relative to the horizontal.
A further object is to provide a cushion of this character with means providing a shoulder sling, whereby a person with a broken arm may use the cushion as a support for the broken arm while moving about and while seated.
Other objects will be apparent from the following specification.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the cushion having a strap applied thereto;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a strap adapted to be applied to the cushion illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a bottom perspective view of the cushion with an encircling strap;
FIG. 4 is a vertical transverse sectional view of the cushion;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the cushion, illustrating one manner in which two straps may be interconnected while supported on the cushion in a position to provide a support for an arm or leg of a patient;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a modified embodiment of the cushion, illustrating the same provided with a shoulder sling;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged edge detail view of a buckle used with a shoulder strap or sling;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged perspective view illustrating a shoulder pad mounted upon a shoulder strap;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary enlarged perspective view illustrating a connection between a shoulder strap and a connector carried by the cushion;
FIG. 10 is a side view illustrating the use of the cushion with an attachment to serve as a footrest for bedridden patients;
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary view with parts shown in "ice section, illustrating the construction of the footrest attachment.
Referring to the drawings which illustrate the preferred embodiment of the invention, the numeral 10 designates the body of a cushion which is made of shape-retaining resilient material, such as sponge rubber, synthetic foam material, such as foamed polyurethane. The body 10 will preferably have substantial compressibility but sufficient stability to provide a firm yet soft support when pressure is applied thereto. The body is preferably of the shape illustrated, with a number of angularly disposed surfaces, such as two substantially parallel surfaces 12 and 14, i.e., the bottom and top surfaces shown in FIG. 4, a surface 16 substantially perpendicular to the surfaces 12 and 14, as at the right in FIG. 4, a surface 18 extending at an angle to each of the surfaces 12, 14 and 16, so as to be inclined when the cushion is at the position shown in FIG. 4, and two end surfaces which are substantially parallel to each other and perpendicular to each of the surfaces 12, 14, 16 and 18 of the body. The dimensions of the body may vary as selected. One size which has been found to be particularly well suited for its intended use has a length of from nine inches to eighteen inches, a base width of the surface 12 of approximately eight inches, a height of the surface 16 of approximately nine inches, and a width of the top surface 14 of approximately three inches.
The cushion body 10 is enclosed within a sheath 20 formed of flexible waterproof material, such as polyvinyl chloride. The sheath 20 is preferably heat-sealed to render it imperforate so that it may be washed without danger of penetration of water into the body 10. It is also desirable to form the sheath 20 of a material which will permit sterilization of the cushion, as in a steam autoclave. The sheath 20 will be sufficiently flexible so as to avoid substantial resistance to flexing or compression of the cushion body 10.
The cushion is preferably provided with an outer sheath which is removably mounted thereon and which is formed of material which is not objectional to the touch of the user. Thus all, or a part at least, of the outer sheath may be formed of fabric and is shaped to conform to the contour of the cushion body and to fit snugly around the inner sheath 20 thereof. In one embodiment the panel 22 of the outer sheath which bears against the cushion surface 18, the panel 24 which bears against the cushion face 14, and the panels 26 which bear against the ends of the cushion body, are preferably quilted. The panel 28 of the outer sheath may be formed of a material of slight- 1y greater stiffness than the panels 22, 24 and 26, if desired; for example, it may be formed of a plastic sheet or a cloth sheet covered or impregnated with plastic, so as to stabilize the outer sheath and hold it in selected orientation to the body of the cushion. The bottom panel 30 of the outer sheath is preferably secured at only one margin thereof to the remainder of the outer sheath, as at the corner between the cushion surfaces 12 and 18. The free margins of the panel 30 are adapted to mount means for releasably securing those margins to the adjacent outer sheath portions 26 and 28. Such securing means may take the form of a slide fastener 32 although it will be understood that snap fasteners or other securing means may be utilized if desired. The bottom panel 30 also preferably carries one or more thin anti-skid pads 34. These pads may be formed of sponge rubber, foam polyurethane, or any other suitable material which is secured to thesheath 30 by stitching or cementing. The outer sheath is readily removable from the cushion by releasing the securing means 32 and, when released, is adapted to be handled separately from the cushion body and the inner sheath 20 for purposes of laundering.
The cushion has many uses. It can be used as a head rest, a side rest, a foot rest, a leg rest, an arm rest, a foot support or sheet support by bedridden patients and can be positioned in difierent orientations for these respective uses. Thus the cushion can rest upon either of its surfaces 12 and 16 when used as a side rest; it can rest upon either of its sunfaces 16 or 18 when used as a head rest; it can be used upon its surfaces 12 or 18 when used as a foot rest. The cushion can also be used to assist a bedridden patient to sit up in bed, or it can be used by a person seated in a chair as either a backrest or as a support for the thighs to hold the knees elevated while seated. The latter usage may also be made for the benefit of bedridden patients who desire a change of position with their knees elevated.
It is desirable to provide the cushion with means by which it may be handled or by which the arm or leg of a patient may be positioned in selected orientation to the cushion. Such means may include a strap or band 36, preferably formed of wide woven fabric or elastic webbing, flexible plastic strip material, or leather. The band 36 has cooperating fasteners 38 at one end which engages the opposite end to hold the band in snug cushion-embraci-ng position, as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3 and 5, when applied around the cushion. The band 36 provides a means by which the cushion may be grasped to manipulate or carry the same. Also, itprovides a convenient means permitting a user to secure support for his hand or arm by inserting the hand or arm between the stnap and the body of the cushion. The latter usage -is particularly advantageous for persons who suffer impairment of arm muscles and who wish to use the cushion as a means to support an arm in an attitude or position which the patient could not normally maintain without assistance.
A second strap or web 40 may be provided for use in conjunction with the cushion and the strap or web 36. The web 40 is provided with suitable buckle or connector means 42 at one end thereof engageable with the other end thereof to form a loop. strap or web 40 is provided with a plurality of fasteners 44, such as snap fasteners, which are arranged in a predetermined geometrical pattern, such as a square or circle, and are spaced apart a predetermined distance. A second set of fasteners or securing members 46, complementary to the securing members 44 and in the same arrangement and spacing, is secured to the strap or web 36 intermediate the ends thereof.
The arrangement is such that the strap or web 40 may be detachably connected to the strap or web 36 which encircles the cushion body in a selected attitude or position. Thus the strap 40 may extend crosswise or perpendicular to the strap or web 36, as seen in FIG. 5, or it may be secured to extend parallel to the strap or web 36. It will be apparent that if a greater number of securing members 44, 46 are provided and arranged in a circle, a wider selection of angular relations between the straps or webs 36, 40 may be provided. Inasmuch as the strap 36 is independent of the cushion body, it is possible to position it around the cushion body so that the fastener elements 46 thereof are located at any selected position upon the cushion, as at any selected position on any of the faces 12, 14, 16 and 18 of the cushion.
This makes possible the attachment of the strap 40 at any selected position at which it is desired to support an arm or a leg of the patient. Consequently, a wide range of utility and limb-positioning is possible by the use of the device,-with assurance that a limb incapable of independ ent support will be maintained in selected relation to the cushion while resting upon the cushion. This greatly facilitates the comfort of paralytic patients or patients too weak to maintain a desired position different than a full reclining position. It will be apparent that the strap 40 is secured around the arm or 'leg of the patient which is to be supported and that the securing members 44 and Intermediate its ends the bed, is at the heels of the feet.
46 will provide adequate anchorage between the strap 40 and the strap 36 for the desired purpose.
Another purpose for which the cushion is well suited is as a part of a sling or arm rest or support. Such an arrangement for usage of the device is illustrated in FIGS. 6 to 9, inclusive, and entails the anchorage of a strap or web 50 to extend lengthwise of the body 10, as substantial ly centrally along the body surface 16. The strap 50 is preferably detachably secured to the outer sheath of the cushion, as by means of separable fasteners (not shown) which may be similar to the fasteners 44 and 46 previously described. Each end portion of strap 50 will prefer-' ably extend alongside an end surface of the cushion body and may terminate in a loop portion 52 which carries a metal ring 54. I
A shoulder strap or band is provided which preferably is formed of two parts, namely, a short part 56 and a long part 58, which are interconnected releasably and adjustably at their adjacent end portions by suitable interlocking buckle or fastener means 60. The means 60 are here illustrated as constituting a pair of metal rings carried by a loop portion of one strap, such as strap part 58, and having the free end portion of the other strap extending therethrough in interlocking relation. The opposite ends of the shoulder strap unit 56, 58 preferably carry releasable locking members 60 of any suitable construction, such as hooklike members with leaf spring latching tongues, as illustrated in FIG. 9. These latching members 60 permit releasable connection of the ends of the shoulder strap with the rings 54 at the opposite ends of the bottom strap 50. If desired, the shoulder strap portion 58 may have a pad portion 62 mounted slidably thereon, as by passing said strap 58 between the pad 62 and offset retainer parts 64, as illustrated in FIG. 8.
It will be apparent that a user may comfortably use a device as illustrated in FIG. 6 to support an arm by passing the strap 56, 58 around the shoulder and adjusting the length thereof so that the cushion 10 supports the arm in the desired attitude or position. The arm is thus supported and maintained comfortably in contact with the cushion at all times while standing or seated. Furthermore, when the user is seated, the shoulder strap serves principally to hold the cushion in desired position, and the cushion may bear upon the seat to support the weight of the arm resting thereon so that shoulder fatigue is avoided while the user is seated. In this connection, the thickness of the cushion will preferably be such as to substantially equal the distance between the seat and the elbow of the person so seated. Also it will be seen that the length of the strap passing around the shoulder may be adjusted while a person is seated, so as to release shoulder pressure by the strap.
Bedridden patients who are confined for long periods of time are subject to the occurrence of bed sores. One of the places at which bed sores occur, especially with patients who sulfer from strokes which make it difiicult or impossible for them to move about to change position in Another condition which patients who are bedridden for prolonged periods of time experience is known as foot drop, wherein the feet lose their normal position relative to the legs and tend to drop toward a fiat position. I have found that both of these conditions can be remedied by the use of my therapeutic cushion and a foot rest attachment, as illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 1 1.
The foot rest attachment constitutes an elongated cylindrical bolster 76 which preferably has a cylindrical body portion 72 formed of compressible material, such as polyurethane foam or sponge rubber or other cellular flexible material. A wire 74 extends centrally longitudinally through the body 72 and projects from the opposite ends thereof and is bent to define elongated loop portions 74.
5 The cylindrical cellular 'body portion 72 is encased in a as to accommodate washing and sterilizing thereof sim ilarly to the manner in which the cushion itself with its inner sheath 20 may be washed or sterilized. An outer fabric cover 78 fits around the bolster body. This fabric may be of any suitable material, and I have found that a ribbed fabric is particularly advantageous because of the minimum tendency to friction or sliding movement thereon by a body member in contact therewith. The fabric outer sheath 78 may be provided with any suitable means for securing it in place upon the bolster body 72, and for this purpose tie strings, snap fasteners or slide fasteners may be utilized.
The cushion is conditioned for use with the foot rest attachment by providing upon the end panels 26 of the outer sheath therefor a strap or band 80 which may be secured by stitching or by snap fasteners or other releasable means. The band 80 serves as a means to anchor a metal ring 82 which preferably is located substantially centrally of the cushion. A releasable connector 84 of suitable length and of any suitable construction, such as a connector 60 as shown in FIG. 9, may releasably interconnect the loop at one end of the foot rest attachment with the ring 84 at the adjacent end of the cushion. The cushion can be mounted in any selected position that is, with a selected face thereof resting upon the bed and, when the foot rest attachment is connected thereto as illustrated in FIG. 10, the bolster 70 will be spaced a slight distance from the cushion. The parts are preferably so arranged that the feet of the patient bear against the nonhorizontal surface of the cushion adjacent to the foot rest while the legs are supported forwardly of the heels upon the bolster. Thus the heels of the feet are elevated out of contact with the bed linen, so that the heel surfaces, which normally are subject to the formation of sores, are rested and healing of any sore spots at the heels is facilitated. The yielding character of the bolster provides a comfortable support for the part of the foot or leg which contacts it. At the same time the position of the foot substantially upright is maintained by contact of the foot with the adjacent surface of the cushion. It will be apparent that the foot rest may be used for prolonged periods of time without discomfort, and that by using the foot rest periodically the occurrence at the heels of sores frequently formed, as mentioned above, may be minimized and their healing promoted and the pain thereof minimized by the use of this foot rest.
The same ribbed fabric mentioned for use upon the bolster may also be used as a covering for the cushion. Such fabric is usually characterized by one smooth surface and one ribbed surface, with the ribbing having a characteristic similar to corduroy. Where such ribbed fabric is used, sufficient resistance to sliding is provided thereby so as to eliminate the need for anti-skid pads 34. Likewise, the need for quilting of some of the surfaces or panels of the outer cushion sheath is eliminated by the use of I the ribbed material because it inherently is soft enough to the touch to provide patient comfort.
While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be understood that changes may be made within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit of the invention.
1. In combination:
a cushion having a yielding cellular shape-retaining body with a plurality of angularly disposed surfaces,
an elongated substantially cylindrical bolster of a diameter small compared to the vertical dimension of said cushion and formed of yielding cellular shape-retain ing material, and
means flexibly connecting said bolster to said cushion in spaced substantially parallel relation to any selected surface of said cushion whereby the feet of a patient may be positioned in contact with the cushion while supported by the bolster in slightly elevated position adjacent to and spaced from the heels when said bolster and any second selected surface of said cushion lie on a common supporting surface and a flexible strap carried by said cushion for positioning the foot of a user in engagement with said first selected surface.
2. In combination:
an elongated cushion having a resilient cellular shaperetaining body with a plurality of surfaces angularly disposed in predetermined relation,
an elongated substantially cylindrical bolster having a diameter smaller than the vertical dimension of said cushion and a resilient body, and
means releasably and flexibly interconnecting said bolster and cushion at their ends to position them adjacent substantially parallel relation when resting upon a common supporting surface and spaced from said cushion to support the foot of a user by engagement of the sole of the foot with the surface of the cushion adjacent said bolster and engagement of the leg with the bolster adjacent to but spaced from the heel of the foot.
3. The combination defined in claim 2, wherein:
said bolster has a wire extending longitudinally and centrally through its body and bent to define subst-antially parallel loop portions extending along opposite ends of said body and cooperating with said interconnecting means.
4. The combination defined in claim 2, wherein:
a waterproof flexible inner sheath encloses said cellular bolster body, and
a ribbed fabric outer sheath is removably mounted on said bolster body and inner sheath.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,986,399 1/1935 Karsikas 297439 2,911,657 11/1959 Streeter 297-439 X FOREIGN PATENTS 67,173 2/ 1914 Switzerland.
FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
A. M. CALVERT, Assistant Examiner.