US 3293668 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 27, 1966 o. N. AUER 3,293,668
ARTI CLE TRAN SFER Filed Sept. 1, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ATTORNEYS United States Patent FICC 3,293,668 ARTICLE TRANSFER Otis N. Auer, lDocona Associates, E20. Box 123, Glen Ridge, NJ. @7028 Filed dept. l, 1964, Ser. No. 3935M 4 Qiaims. (U. S 81) This invention relates to an apparatus for and method of transferring articles from one location to another and more particularly to a transfer apparatus and method whereby objects may be transferred from one location to another with a minimum transfer of infectious organisms.
The present invention has particular application to hospitals and the transfer of patients from a location or area of common use to a clean area. An area of common use would include such places as the patients room, hospital corridors, laboratories, X-ray departments and emergency rooms where patients and hospital personnel, medi cal and nursing stafis and visitors are permitted to enter without appreciable restriction. A clean area, on the other hand, would include such places which are subject to meticulous and constant cleaning and where the admission of individuals is severely restricted. Such areas would include, for example, the actual operating or delivery areas of surgical or delivery suites. Accordingly, the following description of the invention is given with particular reference to such hospital use although it is to be understood that the present invention can be used for transportation of other objects besides hospital patients where contamination is to be avoided.
With reference to hospitals and moving patients therein, it is very important to maintain as clean an environment as possible in specified locations such as operating rooms because the patient, when in such rooms, is particularly prone to infection. In order to maintain the environment of such rooms and the various equipment contained therein in a clean condition, the rooms and equipment, as indicated above; are frequently and meticulously cleaned. One prime source of infectious organism, however, is the conventional wheeled stretcher device which is used for transporting the patient into the clean rooms.
Presently, when it is desired to move a patient from his bed or other area of common use to the operating room, he is placed on a wheel stretcher cart and wheeled di rectly into the operating room through the various corridors of the hospital that are also used by the other patients, hospital staff and the public. It is in these areas that the cart will pick up infectious organisms and transport them into the operation room, and since the wheels of the conventiontal stretcher cart are in continuous contact with the floor of the corridors, they become its most contaminated part. Different procedures have been de vised in an attempt to reduce this transfer. For example, the wheels of the stretcher may be decontaminated at the entrance to the operating room by rolling the stretcher over a surface containing a disinfectant. It is evident, however, that this has no effect on the rest of the stretcher or the covering of the patient which may also have become contaminated.
According to the teachings of the present invention, with particular reference to hospitals, a patient may be transferred from his room to the operating room, for example, with a minimum transfer of infectious organisms.
3,293,668 Patented Dec. 27, 1966 To accomplish this the patient is placed on a first wheeled stretcher cart which is movable Within a first zone separate from the operating room which is within a second zone. At the point where these two Zones meet, the patient is transferred from the first cart onto a second cart located in the second zone and previously brought into position from within the second zone. Before making the transfer from the first zone to the second zone, any covering sheet previously placed over the patient is removed and replaced with a clean sheet. The second zone includes the operating room itself and other areas such as, for example, corridors, anesthetizing rooms, scrub up areas and the like, the important thing being that the second zone is maintained clean as compared to the first zone. Both carts are provided with a transfer device having antifriction elements on the upper surfaces thereof so that the transfer of the patient from one cart to the other may be effected by simply sliding a rigid flat support on which he is positioned. After the transfer has been completed, the second cart, with the patient on it is wheeled to a position adjacent to the operating or delivery room table and the patient on the rigid support transferred from the cart to the table in preparation for surgery or delivery. With the above arrangement, it will be observed that the first and second carts remain within their respective zones and consequently the amount of infectious organisms collected on the wheels or any other part of the first stretcher will not be transferred into the second clean zone.
A better understanding of the invention will be obtained by a reading of the following specification in which the invention is further described with reference to the accompanying drawings of which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of the transfer apparatus of the present invention as used in transferring a patient from one location to another,
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the transfer device taken along lines Z2 of FIG. 1 with one of the guards moved to a horizontal position, and
FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view of the transfer device showing a guard in folded condition.
As shown in the drawings, ll designates a conventional carriage or stretcher cart having wheels for rolling it from one location to another. The stretcher may be constructed so that the height of the stretcher may be varied. The top of the stretcher provides a table 3 on which is positioned a transfer device generally designated at 4. This transfer device comprises a center body portion 5, side guards 6 and end guards 7. The guards are pivotedly secured at the edges of the body by means of hinges 8. The table of the conventional stretcher cart is frequently dish-shaped as shown in FIG. 2 and in such situations it is therefore desirable to provide the undersurface of the body of the transfer device with suitable legs 9 so that when positioned on the table, it will lie in an horizontal plane. The opposite surface of the body portion 5 is provided with raised antifriction elements 10 secured by means of inverted cups 10' and as shown in FIGURE 3 the antifriction members are positioned at spaced intervals on such surface. The upper surface of the body portion 5 is provided with a rigid cover 11 which is adapted to cover the inverted cups l0 and allows only the antifriction members to protrude through apertures 12. This may be secured to cross members 13.
As shown in FIGURE 1 the side guard 6 are also provided with antifriction elements It) spaced therealong. It will be noted, however, that the spacing of these antifriction elements is such that upon rotating the guards so that the antifriction elements on the guards oppose the antifriction elements on the body of the transfer device, they will not interfere with each other. The end guards 7 are also provided with covers 11.
The hinges connecting the guards to the side edges of the body are constructed so that the guards may be rotated through substantially 180. Finally, locking means 14 are provided on each of the guards for holding the guards in either a vertical position as shown in the right hand end of FIGURE 2 or in a horizontal position as shown in the left hand end of FIGURE 2.
Positioned on top of the antifriction elements of the body portion of the transfer device is a fiat, rigid board 15 of substantially the same size as such body portion. This board may be removed from the transfer device by sliding it in any desired direction after the appropriate guard or guards have been lowered to either a horizontal position or downwardly extending position. If desirable, a mattress 16 may be placed on the board 15.
In transferring a patient from one location within the hospital to another, a first stretcher cart provided with a transfer device constructed in accordance with the teaching of the present invention is wheeled into position adjacent the patient. If for example, the patient is in a bed, the stretcher cart is brought up to the bed and the patient is lifted onto the mattress 16 positioned on top of the transfer device. Next the side guards and the end guards are rotated and locked in a vertical position to insure that the patient or the board does not inadvertently slip off of the transfer device. This stretcher is then Wheeled through what may be termed a first zone which extends from a first location where the patient was originally picked up to a point immediately adjacent a second zone in which a second location, for example, the operating room, is included. At the end of this first zone the wheeled stretcher comes into contact with the barrier 17 shown in FIGURE 1. From the opposite side of this barrier a second stretcher cart is wheeled into position abutting the first cart and barrier 17 and into alignment with the first cart. This stretcher is a completely clean stretcher that has been cleaned routinely and completely in accordance with the best hospital standards. When the two stretchers are positioned abutting each other as shown in FIGURE 1, the board 15 carrying the patient is slid from the first stretcher onto the clean stretcher. The clean stretcher is then wheeled into the operating room and the unsterile stretcher may be wheeled to other parts of the hospital. When it is desired to move the patient back to the other parts of the hospital the apparatus described above is simply operated in reverse.
As stated above, it is to be understood that the transfer apparatus is not restricted to the transfer of patients and may be used to transfer other objects from one location to another. It will also be noted that the transfer of such objects in this manner will be effected with a minimum jarring movement relative to the board 15 and without any body motion or change in position of the patient.
In addition, the original height of the object or objects on the first carriage in the first zone need not always be the same as the final height on the second carriage in the second zone as, for example, where it is merely desired to transfer supplies onto the second carriage. At the point of transfer, the height of the support for the supplies on the first carriage may be at a point spaced above the second carriage, and the support slid off the first carriage a short distance until grasped by personnel in the second zone who will complete the removal from the first carriage and lower the support onto the second carriage.
It is apparent that various other modifications may be made to the preferred embodiment of the invention descriped above without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims. For example, the embodiment of the invention illustrated and described above is for use on stretcher carts already owned and used by hospitals; however, completely new stretcher carts could be made with the transfer device built in originally as part of the cart.
1. Apparatus for transferring an object from a nonsterile location within a first zone of common use to a clean location within a second clean zone with a minimum transfer of infectious organisms and with a minimum disturbance of the object comprising:
(a) means for supporting the object in a predetermined plane;
(b) a first carriage and transfer means for holding said object supporting means at a predetermined elevation in said plane and movable Within said first zone extending from said non-sterile location to a point adjacent said second zone;
(c) a second clean carriage and transfer means movable within said second zone for receiving said supporting means from said first carriage in said predetermined plane when said carriages are positioned adjacent each other; and
(d) a fixed barrier positioned between said two zones in the path of movement of said carriages for preventing movement of said carriages beyond their respective zones.
2. Apparatus for transferring an object as defined in claim 1 wherein said supporting means is positioned in a horizontal plane.
3. Apparatus for transferring an object from a nonsterile location within a first zone of common use to a clean location within a second clean zone with a minimum transfer of infectious organisms comprising:
(a) a flat rigid support for holding the object in a horizontal plane;
(b) a first carriage movable within said first zone extending from said non-sterile location to a point adjacent said second zone;
(c) a first transfer device positioned on said first carriage for supporting said fiat rigid support, said transfer device comprising:
(i) a central, fiat, rigid body,
(ii) means secured to one surface of said body for supporting said body on said carriage,
(iii) guards pivotally secured at each edge of said body,
(iv) means for releasably locking each of said guards in a first position extending at right angles to said one surface and in a second position extending perpendicular to said first position, and
(v) antifriction elements positioned at spaced intervals on the opposite surface of said body and on the corresponding surfaces of said guards whereby all the antifriction elements face in the same direction when said guards are locked in said second position and whereby the antifriction elements on said guards are offset from the ones on said body;
(d) a second carriage movable within said second zone extending from said first zone to said clean location;
(e) a second transfer device constructed in the manner of said first transfer device and positioned on said second carriage for receiving said flat rigid support from said first transfer device in said horizontal plane when said carriages are positioned adjacent each other; and
(f) a barrier positioned between said two zones for preventing movement of said carriages beyond their respective zones.
4. A transfer device comprising in combination:
(a) a flat rigid body having an upper and lower surface;
3,293,668 5 6 (b) legs secured to the lower surface of said body; References Cited by the Examiner (c) guards pivotally secured at each edge of said body; UNITED STATES PATENTS ((1) means for releasably locking each of sa1d guards in a first position extending at right angles to said ,4 2 1 56 Tanney 58l upper surface and in a second position whereby 5 2,987,734 6/1961 Littleton 586 they form an extension of said upper surface; and 3,167,789 2/ 1965 Wicks 581 (e) antifriction elements fixed at spaced intervals to said upper surface of said body and to the corre- FOREIGN PATENTS sponding surfaces of said guards whereby all said 321,073 10/ 1929 Great B i a elements face in the same direction when said guards 10 are in said second position and whereby the elements FRANK SHERRY, Primary Examine!- on said guards are offset from the elements on said D. KRAUS Assistant Examiner body.