US 3286283 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 22, 1966 J. M. BERTOLDO 3,236,233
HAND GRIP ATTACHMENT FOR HOSPITAL-TYPE BEDS Filed Dec. 31, 1964 INVENTOR.
JOSEPH M. BERTOLDO BY FIG.5
98/342, m,&mmy WWW/42..
ATTO RN EYS United States Patent 3,286,283 HAND GRIP ATTACHMENT FOR HOSPITAL-TYPE BEDS Joseph M. Bertoldo, 627 Salem St., Maiden, Mass. Filed Dec. 31, 1964, Ser. No. 422,747 2 Claims. (Cl. -317) The present invention relates to improvements in aids for increasing mobility of bedridden patients and, in one particular aspect, to novel and improved hand grip apparatus of simple and low-cost form which may be releasably secured to the back post of a hospital-type bed or the like to offer gripping elements to the occupant at convenient positions which facilitate unassisted movement while at the same time avoiding troublesome interference with both the occupant and the bedding.
Private or institutional care of patients can be tedious and highly wasteful of attendants skills when frequent routine assistance must be given to bedridden persons who wish to change body positions, raise and lower themselves, or enter or leave their beds. Commonly, the ailments or infirmities of sick, aged or handicapped persons are not so restrictive as to prevent a large measure of self-help, although the usual hospital-type bed tends to keep its occupant narrowly confined, in that it affords no convenient provisions for aiding sure execution of even the most elementary bodily movements. Although accessory overhead equipment has been devised in the past with the object of permitting a patient to rise and/ or exercise, such equipment has been relatively complicated and awkwardly located, and has not served to facilitate other important activities which the patient is capable of performing without assistance by an attendant.
Therefore, it is one of the objects of the present invention to provide novel and improved accessory devices, for attachment to hospital-type beds and the like, which are mountable and proportioned such that they do not interfere with access to and care of the occupant and bedding, and which offer advantageously-located gripping surfaces for patient self-help.
Another object is to provide unique bed attachments of sturdy, low-cost and uncomplicated construction which may be detachably fastened to the heads or back posts of beds to provide sure and convenient hand-gripping surfaces for handicapped and infirm occupants.
A further object is to provide a novel sickroom aid which improves the unassisted mobility of bedridden patients and which readily lends itself to secure attachment to beds in a convenient location where it is unobtrusive and need not be adjusted or removed in connection with routine care.
By way of a summary account of practice of this invention in one of its aspects there is provided a generally U-shaped sturdy tubular metal frame having an overall length not substantially in excess of the length from the head of a bed to the lower edge of a pillow thereon, with portions of the frame being covered by plastic or the like to facilitate their being grasped and held by the hand. At each of its spaced open ends, the open frame is rigidly affixed to a U-shaped clamp having a manuallyadjustable movable jaw permitting it to be detachably but securely fastened to the vertical back post of a bed at a height which enables the gripping surfaces to be seized and held for support and leverage by a bedridden patient.
The subject matter regarded as my invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. However, both as to preferred structure and assembly, and further in relation to objects and advantages thereof, this invention may best be understood through reference to the fol- "ice lowing description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 illustrates, in perspective, an improved self-help attachment for a hospital-type bed, a portion of the latter being shown in double-dashed linework to display the cooperative relationships;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of one form of clamp used in association with the bed attachment portrayed in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of an alternative form of clamp suitable for use in association with the bed attach ment;
FIGURE 4 depicts, in a side view, an alternative frame arrangement for a bed attachment; and
FIGURE 5 is a side view of another preferred frame construction for an improved hand-grip attachment.
The accessory device appearing in FIGURE 1 comprises a generally U-shaped rigid metal frame member 6 having a pair of manually-adjustable C-shaped clamps, 7 and 8, affixed, as by welding at 9 and 10, respectively, to the coplanar open ends 11 and 12 of the frame. These clamps are oriented such that their movable jaws, 13 and 14, respectively, are adjustable, via the handrotated screws 15 and 16, toward and away from the ends 11 and 12 of the elongated frame sides 6a and 6b, and the clamps are both opened, at 7a and 8a, respectively, on the same side of the frame to admit therein the upstanding side post 17 of a head structure for a bed (the latter being shown in double-dashed linework). When clamped in position, as illustrated, the open metal frame lies in essentially a vertical plane, with one of the horizontallyextending sides, 6b sufficiently above the level of the mattress 18 both to avoid obstructing the bedding and to permit a patients hand to grasp that lower side without difliculty. The spacing 19 between the two horizontally-extending sides is selected to enable the patient to grip both simultaneously with different hands, and to afford suflicient length to the end portion 60 to permit its being grasped by both hands; a spacing of about one foot has been found to be satisfactory, for example. Frame length 20 is selected to cause the end 60 of the attachment to extend forward a distance not appreciably in excess of the distance from the head board to the lower edge of a pillow, where it may be conveniently gripped by the occupant and yet not interfere with body movements into and out of the bed, or sitting on the edge of the bed, or access by attendants; a length as short as about one foot has also been found to be satisfactory for that dimension. Preferably, the vertical and horizontal frame surfaces which are intended to be grasped and held are covered by sheathing, 21, of material such as plastic, rubber, or the like.
Clamp 7 is depicted in an enlargement in FIGURE 2, where the movable flat jaw plate 13 is shown to be adjustable in directions of arrow 22 toward and away from the frame end 11, by a threaded member 23 which cooperates with an internally-threaded end 7b of the C-shaped yoke 7c and is rotated by a separable handle 24 which may be fitted into a transverse opening in the enlarged screw head 15. This arrangement enables large torques to be developed in the clamping with post 17, and minimizes the possibility of tampering when the handle is removed. In FIGURE 3, the movable jaw 13a and the cooperating fixed jaw 7d of a generally similar alternative clamp present V-shaped clamping surfaces toward the back post 17a, which has a circular cross-section, and the adjusting screw 23a is there manipulated by a serrated knob 15a.
In FIGURE 4, the self-help bed attachment 25 is shown to have a generally triangular configuration, and the molded sheathing-26 for the gripping surfaces are rigid to facilitate firm hand-holds by the patient. Other portions of the assembly, which are functional equivalents of those appearing in the preceding figures, are designated by the same reference characters with distinguished single-prime accents added. Another frame form for the attachment 27, appears in FIGURE 5 and is generally like that of FIGURE 1 except that it includes a further cross-member, 6d, between the sides 6a and 6b, and spaced from the end member 60, which atfords the user an additional advantageous gripping element for unassisted maneuvering and also improves structural strength of the framework.
Tubular metal framework may be used for purposes of developing rigidity and strength with light weight, although solid cast framework members are preferred. Some adjustability in height may be realized by fashioning the members 6c, 60' and 6d as telescoping elements. In each instance it is desirable that the framework be open, to avoid obstructing visibility for the patient. The attachments may conveniently be placed on either side of a bed when they are of the rectangular forms appearing in FIGURES 1 and 5.
Although preferred embodiments have been illustrated and described, these disclosures have been intended as limitations upon the invention, and those skilled in the art will understand that various modifications, substitutions and combinations may be effected without departure in spirit or scope from the invention in its broader aspects.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A hand-gripping device for attachment to the vertical back post of a bed and for improving unassisted mobility of a patient, comprising a rigid substantially U-shaped open metal framework of bar-like elements integrally joined together and lying in substantially one plane, said framework having a width of about one foot and having a length of at least about one foot and not in excess of about the distance from a headboard of a bed to the lower edge of a pillow on the bed, a spaced pair of clamps each rigidly secured to a different one of two free ends of said elements at the open end of said framework, each of said clamps being opened along the same side of said framework to receive a vertical back post of a bed therein and including adjustable means to hold said framework on the vertical back post with said framework extending forward therefrom in a substantially vertical plane.
2. A hand-gripping device for attachment to the ver tical back post of a bed and for improving unassisted mobility of a patient, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said clamps comprise C-clamps, and wherein said framework is of substantially rectangular outline and includes two of said elements in parallel spaced relation extending horizontally from said clamps with a vertical spacing of about one foot when said framework is attached to a back post of a bed, whereby said framework may be attached to a back post on either side of a bed in generally the same relationship to the bed.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 354,880 12/1886 Amon 5-331 X 755,699 3/1904 Robertson 5-319 2,300,898 11/1942 Allen 5-319 2,769,989 11/1956 Woodford 5-320 2,859,454 11/1958 Beckwell 5-331 3,195,153 7/1965 Armstrong et al. 5-331 FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner. R. D. KRAUS, Assistant Examiner.