US 3295518 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 3, 1967 F HAZLEWOOD ET AL 3,295,518
CONTOURED ARM BOARD FOR INTRAVENOUS INJECTIONS Filed April 15, 1964 INVENTORS.
3,295,518 CONTOURED ARM BOARD FOR INTRA- VENOUS INJECTIONS Lewis F. Hazlewood, Willingboro, NJ., and Ronald J.
Shea, Norristowu, Pa., assignors to Meda-Plast Products Company, Riverside, N.J., a corporation of New I Jersey Filed Apr. 15, 1964, Ser. No. 359,924 7 Claims. (Cl. 128133) The present invention relates to an arm board of unique design and construction for use as a support for the human arm in a variety of medical contexts. In particular, the invention described herein is useful as a contour support for intravenous therapy, and as a splint for immobolizing the arm in the case of fractures, etc.
At the present time, arm boards for use in connection with intravenous feeding are make-shift affairs produced by nurses and other hospital employees. Typically, such arm boards are formed by placing cotton or other soft padding material on a flat piece of cardboard or wood, wrapping the flat piece and padding with gauze, and securing the gauze with tape. This procedure is, of course, quite tedious and utilizes the time of valuable personnel who would otherwise be free for more important duties. In addition, the materials utilized in the construction of such devices are relatively costly, and a typical board contains from seventeen to twenty-one cents of material alone, at present prices. This expense is compounded due to the fact that the entire arm board (or at least the wrappings therefor) must be disposed after a single use.
Present hospital arm boards of the above-described type are subject to additional deficiencies. Since the covering material used is normally gauze or a similar material, blood and other fluids are readily absorbed, causing unsightly stains. Thus, in the case of even slightly prolonged use, the appearance of such boards is displeasing to all concerned and occaionally even upsetting to the patient.
As stated, the typical arm board of current usage is covered with material that permits the absorption and retention of sweat, blood and other fluids. This, in turn, frequently results in the growth of bacteria and thus presents the added danger of cross-infection.
From the standpoint of patient com-fort, currently used arm boards also leave much to be desired. In the normal hospital construction a relatively small amount of padding is used, and since the board is not otherwise shaped to accommodate the contours of the arm, a relatively hard, fiat surface is presented. When the patients arm is tightly taped or otherwise secured to the arm board for purposes of intravenous feeding or as a splint, the lack of an accommodating contour creates arm fatigue and tension, and often produces an extremely uncomfortable amount of pressure at sensitive points. Another disadvantage of presently constructed arm boards is the lack of ventiliation. This derives from the fact that the gauze, tape and other material used to cover the board effectively cuts off the flow of air about the portion of the arm placed in contact with the arm board. The lack of ventiliation naturally results in some discomfort to the patient, since the pores of his arm cannot breathe. Additionally, the lack of ventiliation permits the covering material of the arm board to become soggy with sweat since there is no circulating air to carry away the moisture.
The over-all objective of the present invention is to provide an arm board for the purposes described but which eliminates the disadvantages of current constructions, such as those mentioned above. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a preformed, unitary arm board whereby the cost and difliculty attendant in the fabrication of present arm boards is eliminated.
3,295,518 Patented Jan. 3, 1967 "ice Another object is to provide an arm board for use as a splint or as a means of support in intravenous therapy which is light in weight, strong, and contoured to fit the shape of the human arm. 1
Still a further object is toprovide an arm board having a unique construction which permits air to circulate around the portion of the arm in contact with the board.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an arm board which may readily and inexpensively be manufactured by a simple molding process. Still another object is to provide an arm board may be sterilized and reused.
Still another object is to provide an arm board consisting of anon-absorbent material which resists stains and which will not support the growth of fungusor bacteria. These and other attendant advantages in the present invention will be apparent from the specification and drawings of the preferred embodiment of our invention, Where- FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the arm board as .it is utilized as a source of support and immobolization for the lower arm and hand of the patient receiving an intravenous injection.
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the arm board.
FIGURE 3 is a side view of the arm board.
FIGURE 4 is a view of the front end of the arm board showing the finger indentations.
FIGURE 5 is a view of the back end of the arm board.
FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken along the lines VIVI of FIGURE 2, the dot-dash lines indicating the palm of the hand as the hand is positioned in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken along the lines VIIVII of FIGURE 2, the dot-dash lines indicating the relative position of the wrist in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 8 is a sectional view taken along the lines VHIVIII of FIGURE 2, the dot-dash lines indicating the lie of the forearm in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 9 is a sectional view of a modified construction of the forearm supporting surface, the dot-dash lines which showing the position of the forearm in FIGURE 1.
In general, our arm board has a substantially rectangular shape, and in the drawings the long sides are indicated as 1, 2, while the short front and rear sides or ends are referred to as 3 and 4, respectively.
When viewed in cross-section, the top edges of the long sides 1, 2 are convex with the degree of curvature being somewhat more gradual along the portions 5, 6 (see FIGURE 6) than the curvature along the portions 7 and 8 (see FIGURES 7 and 8). The top edges of the front and rear ends 3 and 4 also have a generally conveX curvature.
In FIGURE 1, we have shown our arm board (indicated generally by the number 20) as it is used in intravenous therapy. Thus the arm is placed so that the hand rests on the front portion in a palms-down (volar) position, and straps 17, which may be adhesive tape or the like, have been applied to prevent undue movement during feeding. As shown in FIGURE 1 a needle 19 secured by adhesive has been inserted into the back of the hand to permit the flow of liquid from the tube 18 into the patients veins.
The unique contoured construction of our arm board is illustrated in more detailed fashion in FIGURES 2-8. Thus, as shownin FIGURES 2 and 4 indentations 9, 10, 11 are formed in the front side of the board to accommodate the finger pads of the index and the two adjacent fingers of the patients hand. As shown in FIGURES 2 and 4, these indentations are defined by intervening ridges 12, 13, 14, 15 which are extensions of a flat surface 16. When viewed in lateral cross-section the indentations have a gradual convex curvature initiating adjacentthe lower edge of the front end of the board and extending rearwardly and upwardly to a point about one inch to the rear of the front edge, at which point their surfaces merge into the plane of surface 16.
As shown in the drawings, opposing surface-s 21 and 22 are formed along edges 1 and 2 to accommodate either side of the palm of the hand. Starting at a point approximately equidistant behind the front edge 3 as the rearmost extension of indentations 9, 10 and 11, these areas extend rearwardly therefrom about three inches (as indicated by sections 5 and 6 of sides 1 and 2) and terminate by merging into the plane of surface 16.
When viewed from the top (FIGURE 2) each of the surfaces 21, 22 have a roughly half-moon shape, the fiat side of which shape is formed by the plane of sides 1 and 2, respectively. When viewed from the side, these surfaces again appear in half-moon shape with the flat v side formed by the plane of the top surface. If viewed in cross-section (FIGURE 6), it will be seen that the areas 21, 22 are convex.
As stated, areas 21 and 22 are contoured to accommodate either side of the palm of the hand. More precisely, it should be noted that both areas have the same contour, and that this contour has been designed principally to accommodate the more prominent protuberance presented by the thenar eminence. In this fashion the board may be used in comfort for either the right or left arm.
A flat surface 16, suitable for the support of the wrist and having a front perimeter defined ridges 12-15 and indentations 9-11, extends between areas 21 and 22, continues to the rear for about 3 additional inches beyond the rearmost portions of said areas, where it terminates in acrescent shaped fashion. The apex of the crescent lies on the central longitudinal axis of the arm board while the legs 16a, 16b of the crescent extend to rear edge 4 in the form of slightly raised ridges 16a, 16b (FIGURE 8). Surface 16 is thus designed to accommorate the flat volar surface of the wrist as indicated by the dot-dash lines in FIGURE 7.
As shown in FIGURES 2, 5 and 8, a concave depression 25 extends rearwardly of surface 16. In more particular detail, it will be seen that the frontal boundary of depression 25 is defined by the arc-like rearmost termination of surface 16, while the sides of depression 25 are bounded by ridges 16a, 16b. The rear portion of this depression merges into the gradual convex slope of rear edge 4, as illustrated in FIGURE 5.
As indicated by the dot-dash lines in FIGURE 8, depression 25 is contoured to accommodate the generally convex shape of the unnder, or volar, surface of the forearm.
Interspersed in portion 25 are a plurality of air holes 23 which, as shown in FIGURE 8, extend through the body of the board. The holes 23 open into a cavity 24 of approximately rectangular shape formed in the lower surface of the board 1. Thus, air entering cavity 24 may pass through holes 23 and circulate around the under-portion of the forearm to ventilate the same.
As indicated previously, care must be exercised in the choice of a proper material for the construction of the present arm board. Thus, it is preferable that the material be easily moldable, stain resistant, non-absorbent with respect to fluids, and one which will not support the growth of fungus or bacteria. In adidtion, the material should be light in weight and adapted to be cleansed with water, alcohol and other liquid sterilants. In this connection, we have found polystyrene, and particularly the regular grade of Dylite brand of polystyrene (made by the Koppers Company, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pa.) to be most satisfactory.
Fromthe foregoing description of our invention, it will be apparent that the arm board of the present invention has many distinct advantages over those in the prior art. Since it is contoured to fit the average human arm, pa-
tient comfort is enhanced and the resultant reduction of pressure or sensitive points enables prolonged use whether as a. support for intravenous therapy or as a splint. In practice, the arm may be immobolizedsimply by the use of belts or by bands of adhesive, as shown in FIGURE 1. Since the board is light in weight, the patient may move his arm and the attached board in occasional small amounts in order to prevent loss of circu-v lation. By the use of air passages under the forearm,: sweat is reduced, and the pores may. breathe. Through the use of a special material, such as that described, the board will resist stains from blood and other fluids and may be easily sterilized by customary liquid sterilants. Because the material will not support bacteria or fungus growth, the danger of cross-infection is sharply reduced. Accordingly patient safety and comfort are greatly improved.
In addition to above, the unitary construction of the present invention eliminates time-consuming wrapping and the expense attendant thereto, as in the case of prior devices. Because sterilization is possible, the board may be reused, thus further reducing cost.
Although we have presented the preferred embodiment of our invention as an arm board specifically contoured to accommodate the volar surfaces of the forearm and hand, it is obvious that the arm board may also be used to support the dorsal surface of the arm and back of the hand. Thus, the arm shown in FIGURE 1 would I this position, the wrist and arm will still be adequately be placed on the board 20 in a palms-up position.
Although we have described the preferred form of our invention, modifications of the principle set forth herein will now be apparent to those skilled in the art. Thus, for example, instead of utilizing the air-holes 23, ventiliation of the forearm can be accomplished by the use of corrugations 26, such as indicated in FIGURE 9. Additionally, materials such as wood, aluminum, etc. and.
other plastics may be used to form the board. It is thus to be clearly understood that the specific device shown and described herein represents the preferred embodiment only of our invention, and that various changes or equivalents may be resorted to without departing from the principle of our invention or the scope of the claims hereof. Moreover, it is to be clearly understood that the terms and expressions used herein are employed as terms of description, and not of limitation, and that there is no rntention in using such terms and expressions to exclude any equivalents of the device described. Accordingly, it is intended to claim the present invention broadly, as well as specifically, as indicated in the appended claims. Having thus described our invention, we claim:
1. A contoured arm board for use as a support of an arm, hand and fingers for intravenous feeding and the. like, having a front and rear end, and a top and bottom surface, comprising:
(a) a substantially flat portion extending from the ap proximate midpoint of said top surface to a posi-.
(c) a substantially concave depression extending from the rear edge of said flat portion towards the rear of said board to support the forearm. 2. The invention of claim 1 wherein a plurality of apertures are formed in said forearm accommodating depression and wherein said apertures extend through the board to the bottom surface thereof.
3. The invention of claim 2 wherein the bottom surface of the board is formed with a recess, and wherein said apertures communicate with the surface of said recess.
4. The invention of claim 1 wherein the surface of said forearm accommodating depression is corrugated.
5. The invention of claim 1 wherein the lateral edges of the flat portion curve inwardly from a point adjacent the front edge of the board and thence outwardly toward the side edges of the board thus defining opposing arcuate edges; and wherein the surface of the board from said opposing arcuate edges slope downwardly toward the side of the board to form a supporting surface for the thenar eminence.
6. The invention of claim 1 wherein the board is substantially composed of stain resistant, non-absorbent, fungus and bacteria resistant material.
7. The invention of claim 1 where the board is substantially composed of polystyrene.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.
DALTON L. TRULUCK, Examiner.