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Publication numberUS3297023 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 10, 1967
Filing dateJun 9, 1964
Priority dateJun 9, 1964
Publication numberUS 3297023 A, US 3297023A, US-A-3297023, US3297023 A, US3297023A
InventorsKenneth C Foley
Original AssigneeAffiliated Hospital Prod
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pulsating body supporting pad with alternately inflatable, superposed cells
US 3297023 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 10, 1967 c, FOLEY 3,297,023

PULSATING BODY SUPPORTING PAD WITH ALTERNATELY INFLATABLE, SUPEHPOSED CELLS Filed June 9, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 25 24 2| 23 22 2| I 17' I8 39 3 l6 as INVENTOR.

KENNETH C. FOLEY ATTORNEY Jan. 10, 1967 K. c. FOLEY 3,297,023

PULSATING BODY SUPPORTING PAD WITH ALTERNATELY INFLATABLE, SUPERPOSED CELLS Filed June 9, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG 6 ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,297,023 PULSATING BODY SUPPORTING PAD WITH ALTERNATELY INFLATABLE, EUPERPOSED CELLS Kenneth C. Foley, East Aurora, N.Y., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Affiliated Hospital Products, Inc., St. Louis, Mo, a corporation of Delaware Filed June 9, 1%4, Ser. No. 373,698 8 Claims. (Cl. 12833) The present invention relates to an improved pulsating body supporting pad of the type having staggered series of cells, each of which is alternately inflatable and deflatable.

The use of pulsating support pads of the above general type by people who have to maintain an immobile lying or sitting position for substantial periods of time is well known. The purpose of such pads, whether they be seat pads or mattresses, is to prevent the impaired blood circulation due to such prolonged periods of immobility from causing decubital ulcers, commonly called bed sores. Previous types of pulsating pads did not completely eliminate the formation of bed sores because they permitted poor circulation in fleshy areas of the body which were compressed between a persons sharp boney structure and the surface underlying the pad, notwithstanding the tendency for the alternate inflation and deflation of staggered cells to maintain the body elevated above such surface. It is with the providing of an improved pulsating body supporting pad which overcomes the foregoing shortcomings of the prior art that the present invention is concerned.

It is accordingly the primary object of the present invention to provide an improved pulsating body supporting pad which maintains all areas of a persons body out of pressing engagement with a hard surface underlying said pad to thereby positively prevent the impaired circulation in the fleshy areas pressed between sharp, boney structure and the hard underlying pad supporting surface.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved pulsating body supporting pad having a unique shifting pressure pattern which is capable of providing a novel type of massaging action which promotes blood circulation in those areas of the body otherwise subjected to the weight of a person.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved pulsating body supporting pad construction which may be fabricated in a simple and expedient manner. Other objects and attendant advantages of the present invention will readily be perceived hereafter.

In accordance with the present invention, a pulsating body supporting pad, in this instance a seat pad, is provided having upper and lower layers of air cells. The upper layer of cells includes first and second series of staggered alternately inflatable cells extending in a first direction. The lower layer of cells includes third and fourth staggered alternately inflatable series of cells which extend transversely to said first and second series of cells. Suitable conduit arrangements are provided for alternately inflating and deflating certain of the above four series of cells so that, for example, the upper first and lower third series of cells are simultaneously inflated while the upper second and lower fourth series of cells are simultaneously deflated, and vice versa. In this manner a double layer of inflated cells extending transversely to each other is always provided to provide air space between the flesh adjacent the sharp, boney projections of a persons body and the hard underlying surface on which the seat pad is supported, to thereby prevent pressure on said fleshy areas which causes impaired blood circulation.

The foregoing action of the pulsating body supporting 3,29'Lfl23 Patented Jan. 1Q, 1967 pad provides a shifting pressure pattern for supporting the body in elevated position above the surface on which the pad rests. Broadly, a pressure pattern in the nature of a checkerboard is provided wherein there are spaced areas wherein inflated upper cells cross inflated lower cells, to thereby provide a double pressure area, and there are areas wherein vented upper cells cross vented lower cells to thereby provide areas of no pressure, and there are also areas wherein either the upper or lower cells are inflated to provide single pressure areas which merely press gently on the body. When there is a shifting of the pressure pattern, as occurs when previously inflated cells are deflated and previously deflated cells are inflated, the areas of the pad which were previously high pressure areas due to the double inflation will become totally deflated to provide areas of no pressure, and those areas which were previously totally deflated will become doubly inflated to thereby provide a complete shifting of the areas of the body being supported by the pad while maintaining the body elevated above the base on which the pad is located to thereby provide a unique massaging type of action which is capable of providing improved blood circulation in the parts of the body bearing a persons weight.

The improved pad of the present invention includes a highly simplified, but yet eflicient construction wherein the above mentioned upper first and second series of cells are formed by the sealing of first portions of two sheets of plastic to each other to form seams. In addition, the above mentioned lower third and fourth series of cells are formed by sealing another portion of the above mentioned first and second sheets to each other. The first and second sheets noted above are then folded substantially in half to cause the first and second series of cells to over lie the third and fourth series of cells extending substantially transversely thereto. The edges of the folded first and second sheets are thereafter joined to each other to provide the improved seat pad of the present invention.

While the ensuing description will mainly refer to a seat pad, it will be appreciated that the principles set forth hereafter are equally applicable to a mattress or the like. The various aspects of the present invention will be more fully understood when the following portions of the specification are read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of an improved seat pad made in accordance with the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the underside of the pad of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the improved seat pad of the present invention showing superposed sheets of material from which the various series of cells are formed;

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary perspective view showing the manner in which the seat of a person was improperly supported by previous types of pulsating seat pads;

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary view showing the improved manner in which the improved seat pad of the present invention supports the seat of aperson;

FIGURE 6 is a schematic view showing the areas of inflation when the first series of cells are inflated at the same time that the third series of cells, underlying the first series of cells, are inflated; and

FIGURE 7 is a schematic view showing the areas of inflation when the second series of cells are inflated at the same time that the fourth series of cells, underlying said second series of cells, are inflated.

In FIGURE 1 the improved pulsating seat pad 10 is shown having a casing 11 which includes an upper surface 12 and a lower surface 13 (FIGURE 2). The upper surface 12 includes a first series of elongated cells 14 which are staggered in relation to a second series of elongated cells 15. These series of cells are formed by joining certain select portions of upper plastic sheet 16 and lower plastic sheet 17 along the sinuous path followed by heat sealed seam 16 (FIG. 1). The first series of cells 14 are in communication with each other through manifold 18 which is formed between heat sealed seam 17' joining sheets 16 and 17 and the left rounded ends of cells 15 (FIG. 1) formed by seam 16'. The second series of cells 15 are in communication with each other through manifold 19 formed by heat sealed seam 19' joining sheets 16 and 17 and the right rounded ends 14- of cells 14 formed by seam 16.

Two series of cells are provided in the lower surface 13 (FIGURES 2 and 3) of the seat pad, these two series of cells extending transversely to those in the upper surface of the seat pad. More specifically, a third series of elongated cells 20 is provided in staggered relationship with a fourth series of elongated cells 21. The third and fourth series of cells are produced by heat sealing upper plastic sheet 16 to lower plastic sheet 17 along sinuous seam 22. Each cell 211 of the third series of cells is in communication with the other cells 20 through manifold 23 which is formed by seam 24 which heat seals sheet 16 to sheet 17, cooperating with the rounded ends 25 of each of cells 21, rounded ends 25 being a part of sinuous seam 22. Each cell 21 of the fourth series of cells is in communication with each of the other cells 21 through manifold 26, which is formed by heat sealing the upper and lower sheets 16 and 17, respectively, to each other, along seam 27, in conjunction with the ends 28 of cells 20.

In order to form the seat pad shown in FIGURE 1, sheets 16 and 17 are folded substantially along centerline 29 (FIGURE 3) and the edges 30, 31 and 32 are heat sealed to each other at select locations after sponge rubber pad 33 (FIGURE 1) has been interposed between the two surfaces of sheet 17 which face each other after the folding.

In operation, compressed air is alternately supplied to conduits 34 and 35 which are attached to nipples 36 and 37, respectively, mounted on sheet 16, as by heat sealing, and the conduit to which air is not supplied is vented. Preferably the alternate inflation and venting is caused to occur every three minutes by suitable pulsating equipment which may be similar to that shown in copending application Serial No. 333,510 filed December 26, 1963, but any other device causing alternate inflation and venting of the cells may be used.

Thus when compressed air is supplied to nipple 36 through conduit 34 there will be inflation of each of upper cells 14 through nipple 36, conduit 38, which is located between sinuous heat seal seam 16 and heat seal seam 39, and manifold 18. In addition, compressed air will be supplied to each of lower cells 20, which are in communication with each other, through conduit 40, which is in communication with manifold 18, and through manifold 23. At this time the upper series of cells 15 and the lower series of cells 21 will both be vented to the atmosphere through conduit 35 inasmuch as cells 21 are in communication with each other through manifold 26, and manifold 26 is in communication with manifold 19 through conduit 41 formed on one side by sinuous heat seal seam 16 and on the other side by heat seal seam 27.

When there is the foregoing type of inflation the pressure pattern shown in FIGURE 7 will be obtained, the cross hatched portions of this figure depicting areas of inflation and the blank portions depicting areas which are vented. It will be appreciated that when upper cells 14 and lower cells 211 are inflated, upper cells 15 and lower cells 21 will be vented to the atmosphere and therefore deflated. Therefore there will be an inflation pattern as shown in FIGURE 7 wherein the double cross-hatched portions provided at the areas of intersection of cells 14 and 20 will have portions of the upper inflated cells 14 overlying portions of the lower inflated cells 20 to provide an area of double inflation between a persons seat and the upper surface 42 of a chair. In addition, there will be areas where inflated upper cells 14 overlie portions of vented lower cells 21 to provide areas of single inflation 43 depicted by certain of the single cross hatch lines in FIGURE 7. There will also be areas of single inflation where inflated lower cells 20 intersect deflated upper cells 15 and these are depicted by single cross hatched areas such as 44 in FIGURE 7. Thus the inflation of spaced upper cells extending transversely to spaced lower cells will provide a checkerboard pattern having spaced areas of double inflation interspersed with spaced areas of single inflation with a part of the areas of single inflation being in the upper surface of the seat pad and other areas of the single inflation being in the lower surface of the seat pad.

It is to be noted at this point that when conduit 34 is vented and conduit 35 is placed in communication with a source of compressed air the inflation pattern depicted in FIGURE 6 will be obtained, the cross section lines indicating areas of inflation and the blank spaced indicating areas which are completely vented. More specifi cally, when compressed air is supplied to the pad through conduit 35 upper cells 15 will be inflated through manifold 19 and lower cells 21 extending transversely thereto will also be inflated through conduit 41 in communication with manifold 19 and through manifold 26. As can be seen from a comparison of FIGURES 7 and 6, the areas of the seat pad which provided double inflation when compressed air was supplied to conduit 34 now provide areas of absolutely no inflation when compressed air is supplied to conduit 35. Furthermore, the areas which under the inflation pattern of FIGURE 7 provided no inflation now provide areas of double inflation while the areas which previously provided single inflation still provide single inflation due to the inflation of the cells which were previously deflated and deflation of the cells which were previously inflated. In the foregoing respect, it can be seen that areas 43 in FIGURE 7 were areas of single inflation because of the inflation of upper cells 14 and the deflation of lower cells 21. However, in the pattern of FIGURE 6 areas 43 still provide single inflation, but upper cells 14 are deflated While lower underlying cells 21 are inflated.

The ultimate result obtained by alternately providing the above described patterns of FIGURES 6 and 7 by alternately supplying compressed air through conduits 34 and 35 while causing the other of said conduits to be vented is shown in FIGURE 5 wherein it can be seen that the seat of a person is always maintained elevated above the hard surface 42 of the chair. This can be all the more appreciated when the action of the improved seat pad 10 of the present invention is compared to the action of a conventional type of seat pad having only a single layer of alternating series of cells, and nothing more, such as shown in FIGURE 4. In the latter type of action the fleshy part of buttocks is always compressed between the bone and the upper surface of the chair regardless of the alternating inflation of the two series of cells, and it is this pressure for prolonged periods of time which produces impaired circulation. In contrast to this, with the action of the above described improved seat pad of the present invention there is always a space between the buttocks and the upper surface 42 of the chair so that the above described pressure prevalent with previous types of seat pads is nonexistent.

Furthermore, as noted above, improved blood circulation is obtained with the improved seat pad of the present invention because there is always a shifting of pressure on the buttocks because of the above described changing pattern. As noted above areas which were previously of double inflation and therefore which provided a relatively high degree of pressure on the buttocks go to being areas of absolutely no inflation and therefore provide absolutely no pressure on the buttocks. In addition, while the areas which were previously of single inflation maintain their identity as areas of single inflation the fact remains that there is a change in pressure on the buttocks supported by such areas because of the fact that such areas are produced first by one set of cells and thereafter by the other set of cells, as described in detail above.

It will be noted that edges 30, 31 and 32 of the seat pad (FIGURE 1), which were previously described as being heat sealed after folding, have vents 43' therein which are formed by unsealed edge portions. In addition, these vent holes not only permit venting of the facing surfaces of sheet 17 but also permit venting of the portions lying between upper sheet 16 and lower sheet 17 which are not formed into conduits communicating with air carrying conduits 34 and 35, described above. In adition, vent holes 44 are provided in both upper sheet 16 and lower sheet 17 to vent the space between the facing surfaces of sheet 17. Because of the above described venting, there will be no air trapped either between the facing surfaces of sheet 17 or between areas of sheets 16 and 17 which are not formed into compressed air carrying conduits, and thus there are no air pockets which can interfere with the above described operation of seat pad 10.

In addition, as noted above, it can be seen from FIG- URE 1 that a sponge pad 33 is placed between the facing surfaces of sheet 17. This pad enhances the ability of the facing surfaces of sheet 17 to move relative to each other, as is requried during the transition between the pressure patterns shown in FIGURES 6 and 7.

It will also be appreciated that while upper pairs of cells and lower pairs of cells which are each alternately inflatable and alternately vented have been described above with respect to the present invention, a pad can be used wherein the lower portion comprises an inflated chamber and the upper portion consists of spaced alternating series of cells such as 14 and 15. This construction will provide a spacing between the buttocks and the seat of a chair but will not provide as pronounced shifting in areas of pressure as does the specific construction of the present invention. However, this construction is considered to be within the scope of the present invention notwithstanding that it does not provide results which are as good as those provided by the depicted embodiment.

It will also be appreciated that while the upper and lower cells have been shown as extending perpendicularly to each other, they can extend in any transverse relationship.

While the seat pad of the present invention has been disclosed as being made of two sheets of suitable plastic material sealed together, it will be appreciated that any other type of rubberized material which is suitable can also be used, this material either being pure or synthetic rubber or canvas backed rubber material.

In addition, while the improved seat pad of the present invention has been disclosed as being made of two sheets of material suitably sealed and folded to provide the transversely extending upper and lower cells, an arrangement may be utilized wherein separate cells are inserted into a suitable casing having upper and lower compartments with the upper compartment receiving two series of cells and the lower compartment receiving two series of cells and suitable manifold means supplying the compressed air to the various cells. In addition, the upper and lower compartments, if desired, may be subdivided into additional compartments with each compartment receiving an inserted cell.

While preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed it will be understood that the present invention is not limited thereto but may be otherwise embodied.

I claim:

1. A pulsating body supporting pad comprising a casing,

6 a first series ofcells extending in a first direction in said casing, a second series of cells extending in substantially the same direction as said first series of cells and in staggered relationship with said first series of cells, first conduit means in communication with said first series of cells for conducting air to and from said first series of cells, second conduit means in communication with said second series of cells for conducting air to and from said second series of cells, a third series of cells underlying said first and second series of cells and extending transversely thereto, a fourth series of cells underlying said first and second series of cells and being in staggered relationship with said third series of cells, third conduit means in communication with said third series of cells for conducting air to and from said third series of cells, fourth conduit means in communication with said fourth series of cells for conducting air to and from said fourth series of cells, said first conduit means being in communication with said third conduit means and second conduit means being in communication with said fourth conduit means whereby said first and third series of cells may be inflated simultaneously and whereby said second and fourth series of cells may be inflated simultaneously to thereby insure the existence of a double layer of inflated cells extending transversely to each other with one set of cells overlying the other set of cells to thereby tend to obviate the possibility of a sharp projection of a body being able to substantially contact and constantly press upon a surface underlying said pad.

2. A pulsating body supporting pad as set forth in claim 1 wherein said first and second series of cells are formed by the sealing of first portions of first and second sheets to each other and wherein said third and fourth series of cells are formed by sealing second portions of said first and second sheets to each other and wherein said pad is formed by folding said first and second sealed sheets substantially in half to cause said third and fourth series of cells to underlie said first and second series of cells.

3. A pulsating body supporting pad as set forth in claim 2 wherein the edge portions of said first and second sheets are connected to each other at select locations to thereby maintain said third and fourth series of cells in underlying relationship to said first and second series of cells in a permanent manner.

4. A pulsating body supporting pad as set forth in claim 2 including pad means interposed between said upper first and second series of cells and said lower third and fourth series of cells to permit relative movement between said upper series of cells and said lower series of cells during inflation and deflation thereof to thereby prevent excessive stresses thereon.

5. A pulsating body supporting pad as set forth in claim 3 including vent means in said casing for permitting flow of atmospheric air into and out of the spaces in said casing between said upper series of cells and said lower series of cells.

6. A pulsating body supporting pad as set forth in claim 5 wherein said first and second series of cells extends substantially perpendicularly to said third and fourth series of cells.

7. A pulsating body supporting pad comprising a casing, a first series of cells extending in a first direction in said casing, a second series of cells extending in substantially the same direction as said first series of cells and in alternating relationship with said first series of cells, third cell means, said third cell means on one hand and said first and second cell means on the other hand being in superposed relationship with respect to each other, first conduit means in communication with said first series of cells for conducting air to and from said first series of cells, and second conduit means in communication with said second series of cells for conducting air to and from said second series of cells, said superposed relationship preventing a body supported on said superposed sets of 7 cells from continuously contacting and pressing upon a surface underlying said pad during alternate inflation and deflation of said first and second series of cells.

8. A pulsating body supporting pad comprising a casing, a first series of upper cells extending in a first direction in said casing, a second series of upper cells extending in substantially the same direction as said first series of cells and in staggered relationship with said first series of cells, a third series of lower cells underlying said first and second series of cells and extending transversely thereto, a fourth series of lower cells underlying said first and second series of cells and being in staggered relationship with said third series of cells, conduit means for supplying compressed air to one of said first and second series of cells and to one of said third and fourth series of cells while permitting the other cells of both said first and second series of cells and said third and fourth series of cells to be vented to thereby provide a pressure pattern wherein there are portions of inflated upper cells overlying portions of inflated lower cells and wherein there are portions of vented upper cells overlying portions of vented lower cells and wherein there are portions where there are in superposed relationship portions of inflated and noninflated cells.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 10 2,239,300 4/1941 ODell et al. 5--348 2,623,574 12/1952 Damsch 5348 2,684,672 7/1954 Summerville 12833 2,938,570 5/1960 Flajole 5349 15 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.

L. W. TRAPP, Assistant Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification601/148, 5/713, 297/452.41, 297/284.1, 5/654, 5/711, 601/149
International ClassificationA61G7/057, A61H23/04
Cooperative ClassificationA61H2201/1628, A61H2205/086, A61G7/05776, A61H2201/0146, A61H2201/0134, A61H9/0078
European ClassificationA61H9/00P6, A61G7/057K1